Knockout artist met rising star. Knockout artist won.
Mark Hunt met Stefan Struve in the co-main event in Japan on Saturday. A couple of punches were the difference between a decision discrepancy and Hunt's epic win.
Hunt's power striking was on display again, as his Cinderella story in the UFC continues. He actually broke the jaw of Struve at some point in the fight, likely the shot that put the Dutchman to sleep.
Here is what we learned from this interesting affair.
What We'll Remember about This Fight
Struve is a future title contender, but Hunt is an absolute thug. The man punches with the power of the lightning bolt that struck Ben Franklin's kite. No chin could withstand that nastiness.
What We Learned about Stefan Struve
He is much improved, but his striking defense is much to be desired. Every time he loses a fight, he exploits his chin. His head has taken a ton of abuse, and he needs to tighten that up.
We also learned, that despite the loss, Struve is a great prospect at heavyweight. Sure, he probably should have won this match with takedowns and ground work alone, but this will be a great lesson for Struve moving forward in his promising career.
What We Learned about Mark Hunt
Homeboy has tightened his ground game. Even after being taken down, Hunt showed he could battle and get back up. A guy like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira might be able to exploit him, but his effort Saturday night has turned some heads.
What's Next for Struve
A meeting with Brendan Schaub would be great. Schaub recently defeated Lavar Johnson, a man that Struve also holds a victory over.
It would either get him back into contention or prove him as a pretender.
What's Next for Hunt
A bout with Shane Carwin, once he returns, would definitely be interesting. Obviously, Carwin's injuries and time away from the Octagon may prevent this fight from happening, but it would be a test to Carwin's chin and a test to Hunt's takedown defense.
If not Carwin, another top opponent would be ideal. Perhaps the winner of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira-Fabricio Werdum is another option.