Bam Bam Down Under – UFC Adelaide Preview

Australia’s finest will be on full display on Saturday night as the high-level talent the region builds takes on worthy counterparts. Two young prospects and good friends in Tai Tuivasa and Tyson Pedro face legends of the sport in Andrei Arlovski and Shogun Rua, respectively. And in the Co-Main, a Combat Sports legend makes his final UFC walk as Mark Hunt takes on rising star Justin Willis.

Welterweight: Jake Matthews (-125) Vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (-105)

The move back up to Welterweight has certainly paid dividends to Matthews. In his last three bouts, he defeated Bojan Velickovic and Shinsho Ansai with another strong victory over Jingliang Li where Li committed the most wicked eye-gouge I’ve ever seen a UFC fighter do in the cage, and Matthews still got the victory. Matthews seems incredibly confident with himself at Welterweight and now he gets to meet another former lightweight in his home country. Anthony Rocco Martin, Formerly known as Tony Martin is coming off a massive win against Ryan LaFlare and is similarly undefeated in the UFC at Welterweight. That win over LaFlare was easily the most impressive win of his career, and the rebranded Minnesotan has a real shot at building up some momentum. I believe that this fight will go the distance because Matthews’ chin was shown to be rock solid in his fight against Jingliang and Tony Martin’s only path to victory will be through his Jiu-Jitsu, in which both combatant’s are black belts. Matthews likely wins at home. Jake Matthews Def. Anthony Rocco Martin

Light Heavyweight: Tyson Pedro (-465) Vs. Mauricio Rua (+330)

Tyson Pedro is the ultimate boom or bust Light Heavyweight. One minute he looks like he’s a human punching bag and the next he pulls a Kimura out seemingly from Mars. One minute he could be on the brink of finishing the number 7 fighter in the world then the next he Armbar’d back to Mars. Still, at 3-2 in the UFC, Pedro has tons of promise and he has a very strong opportunity to show it off against the aging “Shogun” Rua. In his fight against Anthony Smith, I expected Rua to show us the Shogun of old against a short notice opponent, instead, Smith dismembered his face in an incredibly brutal way. I’m picking the young Aussie on home soil to get the job done via some kind of finish. Tyson Pedro Def. Mauricio Rua

Heavyweight: Justin Willis (-120) Vs. Mark Hunt (-110)

Justin Willis is a great Heavyweight prospect but I’m not picking against Mark Hunt in his last UFC Fight. I’m just not going to do it. Mark Hunt Def. Justin Willis

Heavyweight: Tai Tuivasa (+130) Vs. Junior Dos Santos (-155)

Tai Tuivasa is such an incredible character and I am so happy that he’s able to main event a fight against such an experienced opponent still in the prime of his career. Tai is currently 10-0 with three wins inside the UFC octagon over Rashad Coulter, Cyril Asker, and Andrei Arlovski. While those wins were very impressive, this fight against JDS is his biggest test yet. Junior has fought the who’s who of the division and holds impressive wins over Fabricio Werdum, Frank Mir, and Mark Hunt just to name a few. JDS has alternated wins and losses over his last nine and three of his four losses were by TKO. The question of this battle is “Is Tai on the same level as Junior” If he is I believe that he wins by TKO If he isn’t I believe that he will lose by decision. I think that Tai is on the same level as Junior and he will have quite a bit of motivation behind him as he has always wanted to avenge his teammate Mark Hunt’s loss to Junior. Tai Tuivasa Def. Junior Dos Santos

Other Selections:

Light Heavyweight: Jim Crute (-250) Def. Paul Craig (+195)

Featherweight: Sodiq Yusuff (-600) Def. Suman Mokhtarian (+410)

Welterweight: Alexey Kunchenko (-365) Def. Yushin Okami (+275)

Flyweight: Ben Nguyen (-155) Def. Wilson Reis (+130)

Lightweight: Christos Giagos (-375) Def. Mizuto Hirota (+280)

Welterweight: Keita Nakamura (-190) Def. Salim Touahri (+155)

Lightweight: Damir Ismagulov (-500) Def. Alex Gorgees (+350)

Bantamweight: Kai Kara-France (-410) Def. Elias Garcia (+305)

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