By Christopher Reive in Melbourne
There was a general consensus from Kiwi UFC stars Kai Kara-France and Shane Young after their wins at UFC 234 - the crowd was incredible.
Both fighters won their bouts by decision in fight of the night contenders, with Kara-France claiming a split decision win over Brazilian debutant Raulian Paiva while Young won a slugfest against American Austin Arnett by unanimous decision.
Toward the end of each fight the crowd roared to life, replicating the sound heavy rain makes on a tin roof.
"That crowd was unreal. There was so much energy coming towards us...it almost brought me to tears at the end when I was dedicating the fight to my mum, because everyone has a mum, you know, and I could almost feel the affinity from the crowd being like 'yeah I love my mum too'," Young said.
Young couldn't quite find the knockout blow against Arnett despite rocking him a few times through their three rounds.
Arnett was the longer of the two fighters and used his range well to keep Young at bay early. It forced Young to work as a counter fighter in the first round, before he began to exploit gaps in Arnett's defence and land some heavy blows. Young rocked Arnett late in the second and third rounds, and claimed a 30-27 win on the scorecards.
"After it finished I was like 'damn I want three more rounds'. It's so fun," Young said. "I wish I didn't like scraps like that, because it's not good for your health long term, but f*** it's fun."
Young made it two for two for the City Kickboxing stable, after Kai Kara-France toppled Brazilian debutant Raulian Paiva.
On a 12-fight win streak, Paiva gave Kara-France a good challenge. However, a big third round from the Kiwi saw him take out the win.
Speaking after his bout, Kara-France said you could feel it inside the cage when the crowd sprung into action.
"It was a tough fight for me, but it's a good win to get on my record now and I'm looking forward to the future" Kara-France said.