UFC Brisbane is an underestimated card. Top 10 heavyweights #9 Mark Hunt (11-10-1) faces #10 Frank Mir (18-10) in the main event. In the co-main event, top 15 welterweights #9 Neil Magny (17-5) takes on #13 Hector Lombard (34-4-1). Other fights I am intrigued by, two lightweight contests, one between Johnny Case (22-4) and Jake Matthews (10-1), and the other between Ross Pearson (20-10) and Chad Laprise (11-1). These bouts valued fights in 2016 so far.
Laprise is a 29-year-old Canadian and is a well-rounded fighter with solid striking. Compared to Pearson, Laprise is relatively unknown. Pearson has a strong stand-up game as well, and in his last bout with Paul Felder, he showed an outclassing ability of patience and an intelligent game plan. This has the potential to be Fight of the Night. I see Pearson getting the decision win.
Johnny Case has been solid in his four UFC fights. Case has won all of his fights, finishing two. At only 26 years old, Case has 26 career fights. Matthews is an Australia native holding a 3-1 UFC record, all 3 wins coming via stoppage. Matthews has never been taken down in the UFC. Both guys have +50% of their wins by KO/TKO. In this fight, the Aussie, Jake Matthews, submits Case in the 2nd round.
Hector Lombard is finally stepping back into the octagon after serving a one-year suspension. Lombard was suspended for testing positive for the banned substance, anabolic steroid desoxymethyltestosterone (DMT), at UFC 182 against Josh Burkman. Lombard is a beast, but Magny is on a tear right now. Neil has won 9 of his last 10 fights, losing only to #5 Damien Maia. Magny looked great in his last 2 fights and I see him getting a decision win over Lombard.
Last but not least are the heavyweights, two veterans of the sport and the UFC. The hometown hero, Mark Hunt, won his last fight against ‘Bigfoot’ Silva at UFC 193. Frank Mir is a world-class grappler and submission artist and is also a former world champion. This fight will not go the distance. Mir has the strong ability to submit Hunt, and will do just that in round 2.
The people of Brisbane are in for a real treat as the UFC makes its return to Australia on March 19. The Fight Pass prelims begin at 6 PM CST, and the FS1 portion of the card begins at 7 PM CST.