UFC: Lesnar outclasses Hunt at UFC 200

By Daniel Richardson

Brock Lesnar completely controlled his heavyweight fight against Mark Hunt at UFC 200. Photo / AP
Brock Lesnar completely controlled his heavyweight fight against Mark Hunt at UFC 200. Photo / AP

Brock Lesnar didn't let a four-and-a-half year layoff bother him as he ground Mark Hunt down to claim a dominant unanimous decision victory in the co-main event of UFC 200 today.

Lesnar (6-3), a former UFC heavyweight champion who has flirted with the NFL but has made his name in the WWE, came out of retirement for the bout with Hunt.

The giant cross-code athlete, known for his hulking physique and freakish power, lent on his wrestling-heavy approach for which Hunt had few answers.

Lesnar claimed round one with some dominant wrestling and ground strikes and although Hunt kept the bout standing in the second, as he landed a couple of strong shots, he couldn't drop the beast.

The third frame was Lesnar at his best as he wore Hunt (12-11-1) down and threw a bunch of vicious strikes as he earned a 10-8 score from all three judges who scored the bout 29-27 to Lesnar.

Questions then flowed to Lesnar about what he would do in the future but he had no firm plans, other than to return to his WWE commitments.

"Let's get one thing clear: Brock Lesnar does what Brock Lesnar wants to do," he said in his own post-fight press conference, sporting a welt under his left eye.

"It's way too soon to discuss my fighting future. I have no idea."

Lesnar, who turns 39 on Tuesday, was the headline act of UFC 100 in 2009 and could fight again in the octagon given his competitive nature.

"There were a lot of nerves but you've got to keep an open mind," Lesnar said. "This is a mental game."

As for Hunt, it was a blow to his momentum following two first-round knockout wins over Bigfoot Silva (19-9-1) and Frank Mir (18-11).

"I couldn't get out of first gear and that was it," Hunt said.

The 42-year-old recently signed a new six-fight deal with the UFC and he has been vocal about his desire to earn a title shot.

But the way Lesnar was able to bully him with his wrestling won't have won him many plaudits from the matchmakers.

Hunt's popularity Down Under and in Japan will mean he is always a drawcard to headline an event but a title fight may prove hard to come by.

In the main event, Brazil's Amanda Nunes claimed the women's bantamweight title from Miesha Tate with a first-round submission that was part neck crank, part rear naked choke.

Nunes, who improved to 13-4 with the win, poured it on early in the bout and rocked Tate with a handful of swift punches and Tate had no answer.

Tate (18-6) scored on one takedown but fired few other shots. She cut a disappointed figure after the bout.

The original main event was meant to be a meeting between Daniel Cormier (18-1) and Jon Jones (22-1) in a light heavyweight title unification bout.

But Jones was popped for a suspected failed drugs test this week, which took him off the card, so former middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva stepped in on late notice to meet Cormier in a light heavyweight, non-title fight.

Cormier, as predicted, ground Silva (33-8, 1 NC) in to the mat with his wrestling as he earned a unanimous decision victory in a fight that dropped down the billing on the main card.

In the other main card bouts, Jose Aldo (26-2) won the interim featherweight title with a unanimous decision victory over Frankie Edgar (20-5-1). Irishman Conor McGregor (19-3) holds the belt proper and will likely meet Aldo in the future.

Former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (14-2) also beat Travis Browne (18-4-1) via first-round TKO.

- NZ Herald

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