Mark Hunt Wins Battle of the Bulge
Mark Hunt flattened Roy Nelson with a single punch walk-off knockout in the main event of UFC Fight Night 52 on Saturday night at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.
Battle of the bulge
In a battle of unusually big but mobile fighters, the 40-year old Super Samoan took the fight to the similarly hard hitting Big Country Roy Nelson. It started out as a pretty even striking match, with Hunt delivering the combos off an effective jab and Nelson landing his heavy right handed haymakers. Nelson knew that despite his punching power and granite chin, he was up against one of the more powerful punchers in the sport. So aside from trying to land his famous right hands, he showcased some leg kicks and tried to shoot down single leg takedown attempts early in the first round.
Big Country finally got his first takedown in Round 2, taking Hunt’s back for a few seconds before the Samoan escaped unscathed. As both fighters stood up, it was clear that Nelson’s cardio was starting to fail him and Hunt( 10-8-1 with 7 KOs) took advantage. He stalked Nelson (20-10 with 13 KOs and 5 submissions) with jabs and right hands while stuffing two more takedown attempts by a visibly heavily breathing Nelson.
Then as Roy Nelson was backing up the fence, he ducked what he thought was a right hand coming. But Hunt launched a vicious uppercut that immediately dropped Nelson face first to the canvass. Referee Leon Roberts immediately waved off the bout, to the protest of Nelson who was quick to recover. But it was clear that he was visibly hurt from that ferocious uppercut and was clearly out when the referee stepped in.
Heavyweight title picture
While the 8th ranked Nelson fell to 1-3 in his last four bouts, Hunt improved to 5-2-1 in the UFC, scoring his fourth KO in the promotion. He was coming off an incredible 5 round draw against Big Foot Silva last December. Prior to that, he suffered a third round KO loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos at UFC 160.
Asked who he’d like to fight next, Hunt merely replied: “A rematch is always good for me. Anyone in the Top 10.”
Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is scheduled to defend the belt against top contender Fabricio Werdum on November 15 while #2 ranked Junior Dos Santos is set to face #4 Stipe Miocic on December 13. #3 ranked Travis Browne battles Brendan Schaub at UFC 181. Earlier this month, Big Foot Silva was upset by former champion Andrei Arlovski. Also earlier this month, Ben Rothwell knocked out Alistair Overeem so the heavyweight picture is pretty much shaken up.
If Hunt wants a rematch , then it could be against Big Foot Silva. But if the 6th ranked heavyweight wants a title shot, he should go for the heavyweight without a date so far- #5 Josh Barnett. Hunt isn’t getting any younger, and if he still wants the UFC belt, he’s got to make his move pretty soon.
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