Mark Hunt turned back Father Time once again to force a referee stoppage of Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday night.
Hunt, one of the most lethal punchers in all of mixed martial arts, used his immense skillset to thwart the rapid ascent of Derrick Lewis on Saturday. The 43-year-old knockout artist was patient throughout as he warded off the aggression of the “Black Beast” and slowly picked him apart with crushing low kicks to Lewis’ left leg and potent punches to the head. Lewis slowed considerably down the stretch, which allowed “The Super Samoan” to dish out punishment in spurts.
Normally one to dive in and go for the kill as soon as he has an opponent wobbled, Hunt took his time to wither his American counterpart via his debilitating punching power. Hunt buckled Lewis’ knees in the fourth when he drilled him with an overhand right to the cranium and with Lewis gasping for air, Hunt finally unleashed the seemingly supernatural forces that have made him a fan favorite.
Hunt closed the gap and chased Lewis across the Octagon, tossing out nasty hooks to the body and overhand rights to the head. Lewis eventually covered up against the cage and turned his back and with Hunt just about to tee off, referee Marc Goddard felt that the Houston fighter had taken enough and intervened. While the stoppage seemed premature, Lewis never protested. The end came at 3:51 of the fourth, giving the Samoan another thrilling win. After the bout, Hunt was coy about his future, though he didn’t rule out fighting a few more times.
Lewis, meanwhile, said that he is leaning toward retirement.
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Brunson Burns Kelly
Daniel Kelly had been on a storybook ascension through the middleweight ranks, but everything came to a crashing halt in the opening round against Derek Brunson.
The co-featured bout of UFC Fight Night 110 never got off the ground as Brunson clobbered the former Olympic judoka without breaking much of a sweat. The two circled each other up and fought at a measured pace early, but Brunson’s long reach allowed him to drill the Aussie with a powerful overhand left to the head. Kelly crumbled in a heap, which allowed the North Carolinian to pound on him with follow-up punches until Kelly was out cold. The brutal end came just 76 seconds into the contest.
Hooker Climbing the Ranks
Dan Hooker was looking to add a veteran with a name to his resume and he certainly achieved that goal on Saturday.
Auckland’s own “Hitman” engaged in a spirited scrap with Ross Pearson for about seven minutes before ending things in highlight reel fashion, the kind that will end up on virtually everybody's year-end best-of lists. The Englishman charged in with a flurry of punches in an effort to get inside, but Hooker leveled him with a perfectly-timed right knee to the chin. Pearson’s mouthpiece was flung from his mouth and when the Brit crashed onto his back, Hooker nailed him with a follow-up hammer fist before referee Neil Swailes rushed in to stop it. The end came at the 3:02 mark of the second.
Cutelaba Smashes da Silva
Light heavyweights Ion Cutelaba and Luis Henrique da Silva both promised fireworks when they collided on Saturday and they delivered.
Too bad for the Brazilian, only Cutelaba had the explosives and lighter. “The Hulk” came right after da Silva and wobbled him with a loopy right hand to the head and then floored him with a left hook to the jaw. “Frankenstein” rolled to his side in an attempt to clear this head, but the Republic of Moldova monster was all over him, hammering him with punches to the cranium until he went limp. Referee Mark Craig had to immediately intervene, ending the fight in just 22 seconds.
Nguyen Shocks Elliott
In a fight that was nothing short of shocking, former world flyweight title challenger Tim Elliott never was given a chance to get things going because he was too busy tapping out to a rear-naked choke.
Ben Nguyen rocked Elliott him with a head kick and a follow-up right hook to the dome about 30 seconds into their duel. Elliott instinctively went for a throw, but Nguyen slithered onto his back and immediately latched on the choke. Elliott tried his best to fight his way through it and escape, but Nguyen’s technique was flawless and Elliott tapped out. The official time of the submission came just 49 seconds into their battle.
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Volkanovski Bests Hirota
Alex Volkanovski nearly scored a knockout of rugged Japanese veteran Mizuto Hirota several times throughout their three-round affair.
Alex “The Great” cracked his opponent with crushing elbows and punches to the head and knocked Hirota down several times, but even with some vicious punches, Volkanovski simply couldn’t put Hirota away. With his gas tank depleting in the final round, Hirota rallied down the stretch and it seemed as though it may have been enough to take the frame on the judges’ cards, but it wasn’t enough of a rally and Volkanovski won the unanimous nod. The officials were in favor of the Aussie 30-27 across the board.