FanPost

UFC on Fuel TV 8: Is Mark Hunt's Knee Ready?

The interesting injury recovery story for UFC on Fuel TV 8 is Mark Hunt’s return from knee surgery. He was forced out of his UFC 146 bout with Struve in May 2012 due to the knee injury.

In May, the "Super Samoan" talked with Ariel Helwani of MMAfighting.com, giving some insight into the injury. I address what I think were Hunt's more interesting comments about his knee on the MMA Injury blog post. In short, it appears that he had a meniscus injury and, more significantly, a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury.

Direct information regarding which knee was injured proved difficult to locate, but Hunt’s own Twitter pictures (here and here) show a surgical scar on what appears to be his left knee.

What to watch for: First, the obvious. Hunt’s is a right hand-dominant striker. This means that his left leg will be the lead leg in the stand-up game, and could definitely be a target for attack. Any type of kick to the left leg could cause Hunt to be hesitant in his striking, but a straight front kick impacting the front of the knee, lower front thigh or lower leg could be the most devastating to a surgically repaired PCL.

Secondly, I will watch the stability of the left knee, especially when he delivers right hand power shots. In the advanced stages of rehabilitation from the most recent surgery, Mark's rehab team probably included extensive use of exercises aimed at simulating joint stress and muscular control similar to that experienced in the cage. Will he feel confident enough to accept his full weight on the leg as he delivers the punch? A power punch begins in the legs, with the generated force transferred through the core to the shoulder, the arm and ultimately delivered to the target with the hand. If Mark Hunt has any misgivings about that knee during his offensive game, I expect it to show in his power punch delivery.

Finally, how will the knee tolerate full weight combined with twisting forces, such as when Hunt delivers a kick with his right leg? This will be especially interesting if Struve delivers some effective kicks of his own to Hunt's left leg. If this happens, and Hunt feels any give in the knee, he may shy away from using his right leg kicks.

I am a physical therapist offering MMA injury analysis and commentary at the MMA Injury blog. On Twitter @mmainjury.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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