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UFC Fight Night 142: Dos Santos vs Tuivasa Preview

UFC Fight Night: Adelaide
UFC Fight Night: Adelaide
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 29 Nov 2018, 21:03 IST
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The MMA leader is heading to the land down under with a card stacked with top level UFC Fights this weekend. The UFC returns to Australia with a fight card filled with fan favourites legends and upcoming and hyped new talent and is set to deliver a stunning evening of UFC fights. With only a matter of days left for UFC Fight Night 142: Dos Santos vs Tuivasa, here is a preview of the fights and fighters competing on the upcoming card on December 2nd, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia.


Main Event: Junior 'Cigano' Dos Santos vs Tai 'Bam Bam' Tuivasa-Heavyweight

An epic heavyweight showdown greets us as the main event of the evening when former Heavyweight Champion and no. 7 ranked contender, Junior Dos Santos faces the up and comer undefeated knockout artist Tai Tuivasa who is ranked at no. 11.

Tai Tuivasa has been making waves in the UFC ever since his arrival in the promotion and is currently 3-0 in his Octagon fights. Tuivasa burst into the UFC limelight with 2 consecutive first round finishes of Rashad Coulter and Cyril Asker, and later faced former champion Andreri Arlovski at UFC 225 in Chicago where he edged Arlovski on points in a closely fought 3-round war.

Tuivasa hails from Sydney, Australia and has emerged as a local hero and fan favourite with his dominant performances in the cage and his brash and fun personality outside the cage. His patented post fight 'Beer Shoey' where he chugs a beer from his fan's shoes has made him even more popular in the UFC fanbase and Tuivasa has become a staple name in the Heavyweight division lately.

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Facing Tuivasa in the main event is the former UFC Heavyweight Champion and UFC star and veteran, Junior 'Cigano' Dos Santos. Cigano has been a perennial top contender in the UFC's Heavyweight Division and has fought and defeated 4 former UFC Heavyweight Champions in Cain Velasquez (whom he beat to win the title), Stipe Miocic, Frank Mir and Fabricio Werdum.

Cigano has always been at the top of a brutal heavyweight division and has always delivered remarkable performances. Cigano is coming off a closely fought 5 round decision victory over Blagoy Ivanov at UFC Fight Night 133 and would be looking to make it 2 in a row with a victory over the Aussie heavy hitter Tuivasa.

Tai Tuivasa will be the first Aboriginal fighter to ever headline a UFC event and is looking to make history by taking out one of the greatest heavyweights of all time in Junior Dos Santos. Tuivasa has finished 9 out of his 10 pro fights and will be looking to get through Junior early. The fight this weekend will be the first 5-round fight for Tuivasa and it would be interesting to see how his cardio and conditioning fares.

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On the other hand, a legendary finisher in his own right, Junior Dos Santos holds the records for the most knockdowns in the division's history with 12 knockdowns. A dream matchup for the fans, the UFC main event at Adelaide is bound to deliver fireworks as two powerful strikers with knockout instincts and capabilities face each other. With a win in this highly anticipated main event fight, Cigano or Tuivasa can hope for a potential title fight next year.


Co-Main Event: Mark Hunt vs Justin Willis- Heavyweight

UFC 142 co-main event: Hunt vs Willis
UFC 142 co-main event: Hunt vs Willis

In the co-main event the legendary Mark 'The Super Samoan' Hunt fights his last fight under the UFC contract and faces heavy-hitter Justin Willis. Hunt is coming at the end of his UFC contract and the New Zealand native moving would be looking for a new home following his final UFC fight this weekend.

A true legend of the sport and a real fan favourite, Hunt is going to fight his final fight in front of home-crowd support of Australia, which has been his home for a very long time. Mark Hunt is no stranger to limelight or marquee UFC events. The Super Samoan has fought the biggest of names on the grandest of stages, both in and outside the UFC.

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Hunt faced the former UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum in the main event of UFC 180 where he lost the interim-title fight to the Brazilian. Hunt went on to face the best of the division in Stipe Miocic, Frank Mir, a UFC 200 main event against Brock Lesnar, Derrick Lewis, Alistair Overeem and so on.

Although not boasting a remarkable pro record (13-13-1), Hunt is still considered one of the best and most dangerous Heavyweights on the roster and his one-punch KO power is something which terrifies even the biggest and baddest of heavyweights.

Facing Hunt in the co-main event is the relatively new and unknown Justin 'Big Pretty' Willis (7-1). Fighting out of the AKA super camp, Willis has looked very impressive in his three UFC fights to date.

Willis brings a mix of heavy hands and a good wrestling base to the mix, something which has been an 'Achilles Heel' for Mark Hunt in the past. With a win over one of sport's biggest stars in Hunt, Willis is looking to sky-rocket his stock in the UFC and is looking to capture a top-5 contender matchup in near future.

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On the other hand, Mark Hunt and the entire Australian crowd is anticipating another Mark Hunt walk-off KO and a magnificent final UFC win for the 'Super Samoan'.


Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs Tyson Pedro- Light Heavyweight

Tyson Pedro and Shogun Rua
Tyson Pedro and Shogun Rua

A barn-burner is anticipated to greet the UFC fans around the world as one of the sport's greatest fighters of all time, former UFC champion and #13 ranked Light Heavyweight contender Shogun Rua faces Australia's Tyson Pedro.

Shogun is coming off a first round knockout loss to Anthony Smith, but was riding a 3-fight win-streak prior to that loss in July 2018. A perennial contender and fan-favourite Shogun is still widely regarded as a threat to anyone at 205 lbs, even after a storied long career of 16 years. Facing Shogun is another one of Australia's upcoming talents, Tyson Pedro.

Pedro has also been on a sketchy run lately, losing 2 out of his last 3 fights to Ilir Latifi and earlier this year to Ovince St. Preux. Pedro was undefeated coming into the UFC and made a statement with two consecutive finishes of Khalil Rountree and Paul Craig which hyped up the young prospect as someone to watch for the future.

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Pedro brings an aggressive and pressure based game-plan, which tactically might work in favour of the elite Muay-Thai striker Shogun. Both men possess a wide range of skill-set and are equally good on the mat as they are on the feet.

Pedro has been able to impose his grappling game on his opponents in the past but now he is facing a high level BJJ practitioner in Shogun Rua which makes this fight very interesting from a tactical standpoint too.


Jake "The Celtic Kid" Matthews vs Tony Martin- Welterweight

A Welterweight contest features another one of Australia's budding young talent in Jake Matthews who faces Anthony Rocco (Tony) Martin. Both fighters are unranked in the welterweight division presently but the UFC fight this weekend should be a breakthrough for the winner into the top-15 of a talent stacked 170 lbs division.

There has been considerable hype surrounding Jake Matthews and the 24 year old has turned a page in his career after losing 2 straight, to racking up a 3-fight win streak in the UFC.

Jake Matthews has been a popular name in the organisation since he joined the promotion back in 2014, at an age of just 20 years. A former lightweight, Jake Matthews made the transition to 170 lbs and is undefeated at welterweight till date.

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Tony Martin also moved up to welterweight this year and has won 2 straight at 170 lbs. Fighting out of the star studded American Top Team, Martin can be one to watch if he is able to defeat Jake Matthews in their UFC fight this weekend and similarly, 'The Celtic Kid' has a chance to earn a top-15 slot in the welterweight division and a home-crowd applause with a dominant performance at UFC Fight Night Adelaide.


Preliminary Card

Yushin Okami vs Aleksei Kunchenko- Welterweight

In the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 142, the veteran Japanese MMA star, Yushin 'Thunder' Okami faces the undefeated Muay Thai striker Aleksei 'Wolverine' Kunchenko. Okami has been a staple name in the MMA and UFC circle since the initial years of the sport and the promotion.

Boasting an impressive record of 35-11, Okami has seen it all and fought the very best the sport of MMA has to offer. Okami is coming off a 3 round decision win over Dheigo Lima in April this year and would be looking to make it two in a row by dispatching the undefeated Russian Kunchenko.

Aleksei Kunchenko is fighting only his second fight in the UFC after he beat Thiago Alves on points in September. At 34 years old, Kunchenko is no newcomer to the game but he is facing a real veteran in Okami. It's a striker vs grappler contest at UFC fight night this weekend, this time the Russian being the striker and the Japanese being the grappler.


Wilson Reis vs Ben Nguyen- Flyweight

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The Brazilian ace grappler Wilson Reis has fallen on tough times lately having lost his last 3 fights and would be looking to bounce back against fellow top-10 Flyweight contender Ben Nguyen. Wilson Reis hasn't won a fight in the UFC since February 2017 and is in desperate need of a win if he wishes to stay relevant.

Facing him is Ben Nguyen who is also looking to avenge the loss he suffered in his last fight. With the UFC closing down the Flyweight division, these two Flyweight warriors need to deliver impressive performances in order for their stocks to rise and secure decent opportunities in other promotions.


Complete Fight Card

Main Card

Main Event- Junior Dos Santos vs Tai Tuivasa- Heavyweight

Co-Main Event- Mark Hunt vs Justin WIllis- Heavyweight

Mauricio Rua vs Tyson Pedro- Light Heavyweight

Jake Matthews vs Tony Martin- Welterweight

Soman Mokhtarian vs Sodiq Yusuff- Featherweight

Jim Crute vs Paul Craig- Light Heavyweight

Preliminary Card

Yushin Okami vs Alexey Kunchenko- Welterweight

Wilson Reis vs Ben Nguyen- Flyweight

Keita Nakamura vs Salim Touahri- Welterweight

Early Prelims

Mizuto Hirota vs Christos Giagos- Lightweight

Alex Georgees vs Damir Ismagulov- Lightweight


Send us news tips at fightclub@sportskeeda.com

Published 29 Nov 2018, 21:03 IST
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