UFC: Hunt fights to draw in Brisbane

By Daniel Richardson in Brisbane

Photo / Brett Phibbs
Photo / Brett Phibbs

Kiwi mixed martial arts fighter Mark Hunt reminded everyone of his stunning abilities to take and dish out punishment as he fought to a majority draw against Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva at UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane today.

In a simply jaw-dropping main event, the two heavyweights brawled to a standstill in front of 12,000 screaming fans in an electric atmosphere at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Following what could only be described as a war, the judges revealed their thoughts and one gave it to Hunt 48-47 but the other two scored it 47-47, meaning it was ruled a majority draw.

Hunt dropped Bigfoot in the third with a huge right hand to the face and it looked like he may have taken the fight there but Silva held on to end the round as the pair went on for another two.

Both scored plenty of significant strikes and Silva was out on his feet towards the end but a tired Hunt couldn't land another killer shot.

Silva is ranked in the UFC's top five of the heavyweight division so this was a positive result for the unranked Hunt and added some respectability to things for the three Kiwis on the card in Queensland.

Sydney-based New Zealand light heavyweight James Te Huna made a short-lived trip to the cage when he was knocked out by Brazil's Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua only one minute and three seconds into the first round of the co-main event.

It was a thunderous left that caught Te Huna on the jaw and the Kiwi fell straight to the canvas as he suffered his second loss in a row.

Following the bout, UFC president Dana White tweeted that Rua's effort was the "KO of the century'', which summed up how impressive it was.

After Brazilian female fighter Bethe Correia got the main card underway with a split decision win over American Julie Kedzie, New Zealand's Dylan Andrews suffered a painful TKO loss against Clint Hester.

Middleweight Andrews couldn't come out to compete after the second round following a nasty dislocation of his shoulder and Hester took the victory when it appeared the scores were level with each fighter claiming one round.

Hester and Andrews were both on the 17th season of television show The Ultimate Fighter earlier this year and there was a clear respect between the two.

"Game plan going in to this fight was to keep it standing, look for openings and take advantage of them. I felt that was going to plan and [I'm] disappointed we couldn't go into the third round,'' Hester said.

"Dylan is my brother, you know. I didn't focus on our friendship while preparing for this fight, but after the fight was done I was swarmed with emotions. We spent six-and-a-half weeks together at the TUF house and we'll always be friends - we both just know that this is what you got to do.''

Shortly after, heavyweight Soa Palelei had the crowd on their feet with a massive first round knockout win over American Pat Barry.

Palelei, fighting in his second bout on his return to the UFC after a one-and-done effort in 2007, used an improved wrestling ability to execute a clinical ground and pound demolition job.

"I wanted to make a statement today - my last fight wasn't my best performance, so I'm really thrilled with the KO tonight,'' Palelei said.

"I'm a proud Aussie MMA fighter - the first from Perth in the UFC - and I'm looking forward to climbing the UFC heavyweight division.''

After the highs of Palelei's efforts, Sydney's Anthony Perosh was punished during a laboured points loss to American light heavyweight Ryan Bader, before Te Huna and Hunt took to the cage.

Earlier, the day started out poorly for the Australians with welterweight Ben Wall getting dropped by Alex Garcia in the first round in the opening fight of the event.

Australia's Richie Vaculik then suffered a first-round TKO loss against UFC debutant Justin Scoggins of the USA in their flyweight bout.

In other results from the preliminary card, middleweight Krzysztof Jotko beat Brazilian Bruno Santos by unanimous decision. Caio Magalhaes beat Canadian Nick Ring by unanimous decision in their middleweight brawl, while Japan's Takeya Mizugaki took the spoils on points against American Nam Phan in an entertaining bantamweight fight.

- Daniel Richardson was a guest of Brisbane Marketing and Tourism Events Queensland

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 21 Oct 2014 17:33:21 Processing Time: 474ms