Lesnar submission win is value bet in UFC 200’s headline bout

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For the second time in a few months, UFC 200 has been stripped of its headline fight.

First it was the removal of Conor McGregor from the card by UFC president Dana White, after the featherweight champion skipped media duties to promote his eagerly awaited rematch with Nate Diaz.

Another much anticipated rematch took star billing instead, with the light heavyweight unification bout between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier becoming the headline attraction.

However, this has been kyboshed because of a possible Jones doping violation.

So it is attempt three to promote a main event, with Brock Lesnar’s first return to the Octagon for marginally more than 54 months now top of the bill.

And for the professional wrestler, no easy task has been signed up for, facing top-10 heavyweight Mark Hunt and arguably the toughest test of his soon-to-be eight-fight UFC career.

Since Lesnar last fought, Hunt has lost just three of nine UFC bouts, securing all five of his victories in this period by knockout and all by virtue of punches.

Hunt will certainly prove the best counter-puncher that the 38-year-old has ever faced and this may pose a problem if Lesnar continues with the same style that was consistent through his first spell in the UFC, which tended to involve exploding forwards in search of a takedown.

If getting the fight to the mat, he could bully his opponent with his sheer size, either through short punches or through his superior wrestling.

Hunt is rightly the 10/17 favourite and 4/6 to triumph by either KO or TKO.

Not only will the Super Samoan have the edge if it becomes a striking battle, but there is every possibility that he will have a stamina advantage too. Half of his last 10 fights have reached round three.

The current state of Lesnar’s cardio is far less obvious, especially given that his WWE appearances in the last 12 months have been sporadic to say the least.

For wannabe Lesnar backers, it is 7/5 that he makes a winning return to the Octagon, although 13/2 looks the value call that a victory is secured by submission. After all, six of Hunt’s first seven MMA defeats came this way.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.