This past weekend at the UFC on FUEL TV 8 event held in Tokyo, tough New Zealander Mark Hunt delivered a jaw cracking KO to Holland’s young star Stefan Struve that will send Hunt’s stock rising and Struve’s crumbling in the Heavyweight division. Champion Cain Velasquez has a title defense slated for May against Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva, which leaves the Heavyweight title on course to likely headline the Late December end of the year UFC event. Could Mark Hunt be the opponent for the UFC’s 2013 finale?
Though Hunt’s winning streak and impressive KO power in his hands, he needs to fight at least one more time before earning a title shot. On the same card as Velasquez vs Silva is a bout between Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem, and despite the fact that both are coming off losses, the winner of that match will certainly rank higher than Hunt and be in the mix for the next shot at the Heavyweight title.
Should Silva defeat Velasquez (which is unlikely) you will potentially have Cain to put in their with Hunt, as Velasquez would need a rebound match and Hunt could use an opponent with real pedigree. Silva off a loss is not as glossy an opponent for Hunt, but it may come to that as well.
Pitting Hunt against the loser of the Overeem vs Dos Santos fight is another option. The winner of the match is likely to get the title fight next, especially if Velasquez retains the belt. Overeem has defeated Hunt back in 2008, by submission in under 2 minutes, but that is unlikely to happen again. Dos Santos is a more complete fighter and offers the most danger to Hunt, but a win over either of those men would allow Hunt to continue his rise in the Heavyweight division.
As for Struve, the young Dutchman is 7 feet tall and very hard to prepare for, and he fights an exciting and diverse style. His bugaboo is his chin, which took some solid shots from Hunt in the first two rounds before finally letting him down in the final round. Struve must recover from a broken jaw sustained in the bout, then he must return knowing he is out of the title picture for the foreseeable future.