Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva's efforts at UFC Fight Night 33 will not be forgotten. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva battled to the brink of total exhaustion, and the masses were most certainly entertained.
In an exceptional five-round war that will not soon be forgotten, Hunt and Silva fought to a majority draw in the UFC Fight Night 33 headliner on Friday at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia. One judge sided with Hunt (9-8-1, 4-2-1 UFC) with a 48-47 scorecard, while two others scored it 47-47. Neither Hunt nor Silva sounded disappointed with the outcome.
“It was a great fight,” Hunt said. “To all the fans, thank you. You make this sport what it is.”
After a slow start, two of the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight division’s heaviest hitters went after one another with reckless abandon. They traded knockdowns, with “Bigfoot” flooring Hunt with a clubbing right hand in the first round and “The Super Samoan” returning the favor in the third. Back and forth they went, exchanging blows that might have ruined lesser men. Hunt almost finished it with heavy ground-and-pound in the third round, only to have Silva mount, punish and almost stop him a round later.
Though they could barely stand, neither man gave an inch in the fifth round. There, the 5-foot-10 Hunt opened a cut above the 6-foot-4 Silva’s eye with a standing elbow; “Bigfoot” responded late with accurate, thudding combinations. At the end of it all, they embraced, perhaps sensing the need to hold one another upright.
“I’m so happy,” Silva said. “Mark is a tough guy. I trained a lot for this fight. A few weeks ago, I injured my back, but I came here to fight, and I did my best today.”
‘Shogun’ Counter KOs Te Huna
In the co-main event, former light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua knocked out James Te Huna with an exquisite counter left hook a little more than a minute into the first round. Rua (22-8, 6-6 UFC) drew the curtain 63 seconds into round one, halting the first two-fight losing streak of his career.
The two 205-pound brutes held nothing back in their brief encounter. During their final exchange, “Shogun” uncorked a short left hook that folded Te Huna (16-7, 5-3 UFC) where he stood and sent him crashing violently to the canvas in an unconscious state. Rua had not finished a fight inside the first round since he waylaid Forrest Griffin at UFC 134 in August 2011.
“I want to thank everybody here for the support,” he said. “It’s a great feeling. I want to dedicate this win to my team, my family and my fans. It feels great. I knew he could come aggressive, trying to strike, but I also expected him to come clinching and trying to wrestle me. I was timing his entrances, and I was happy that I could end the bout.”
‘TUF 8’ Winner Bader Mauls Perosh
“The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Ryan Bader won for the fourth time in six outings, as he rode takedowns and vicious ground-and-pound to a lopsided unanimous decision over Anthony Perosh in a featured light heavyweight match. All three judges scored it for Bader (16-4, 9-4 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
Under fire from the start, Perosh (14-8, 4-5 UFC) was never a factor in the bout. Bader wobbled him with a nasty right uppercut in the first round and then proceeded to maul the Australian on the mat. The prolonged beating was at times uncomfortable to watch, as the Power MMA Team representative smashed away with elbows and punches for long stretches. By the time it was over, Perosh barely resembled the man who had entered the cage some 20 minutes earlier.
“Something happened in the first, and I couldn’t really throw [my right hand], but no excuses,” Bader said. “He’s tough. I learned from my last fight, from rushing in there. We have a good team. We got it done and stayed patient. I didn’t get the knockout, but I [won] the fight.”
‘The Hulk’ Smashes Barry
Australian Fighting Championship titleholder Soa Palelei knocked out Pat Barry with brutal ground-and-pound from the mount in the first round of their heavyweight scrap. Barry (8-7, 5-7) wilted under the barrage 2:09 into round one, as he lost for the fifth time in seven appearances.
Palelei (20-3, 2-1 UFC) secured a takedown inside the first minute, dodged an attempted kimura from the New Orleans native and advanced to full mount. From there, the punches fell until Barry lay unconscious beneath the monstrous Australian. Palelei has finished his last 10 opponents, eight of them inside one round.
Andrews Injury Gives Hester TKO Victory
Clint Hester defeated “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 17 castmate Dylan Andrews by technical knockout after a shoulder injury left the 34-year-old Kiwi unfit to continue between the second and third rounds.
Faced with Hester’s heavy artillery on the feet, Andrews (17-5, 2-1 UFC) turned to takedowns in round one, where he grounded the Atlanta native twice. In the second round, Hester (9-3, 2-0 UFC) scored with a takedown of his own and battered his adversary from top position, bloodying his mouth and opening a small cut near his left eye. The superficial damage was the least of Andrews’ problems. Hester later blocked an overhand right from him, resulting in what appeared to be a shoulder separation and bringing a premature end to the bout.
Correia Hands Kedzie Fourth Straight Loss
Power punches and a pair of key takedowns carried the undefeated Bethe Correia to a split decision over Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts export Julie Kedzie in a women’s bantamweight showcase. All three judges struck 29-28 verdicts, two of them siding with Correia (7-0, 1-0 UFC).
The two bantamweights fought to a virtual standstill on the feet, the American seeming to land with more frequency, Correia with more authority. Kedzie (16-13, 0-2 UFC) leaned heavily on kicks to the head, body and legs, but they failed to curb the Brazilian’s forward movement. Correia delivered a takedown in the closing seconds of the first round and another late in the third, perhaps sealing the decision in her Octagon debut.
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