Remember how awesome Diego Sanchez vs. Gilbert Melendez was at UFC 166? OK, now forget it.
In an epic fight that will go down as one of the greatest you'll ever see, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (18-5-1) and Mark "The Super Samoan" Hunt (9-8-1) battled to a bloody draw (literally) on Friday night. The main event from the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia was all it was supposed to be and more.
In most cases, a draw would leave you feeling cheated, but not in this one.
I had Silva winning 48-47, but the even call is acceptable after such a wild bout. This was like watching the climatic scene in a movie. The official scorecards had two judges calling it a draw and one giving Hunt the 48-47 advantage.
After a strong first and second round, Silva got caught with two monstrous right hands from Hunt in the third round. The second put Silva on the seat of his pants. It looked as if the shot broke his nose, but miraculously, he continued.
It led to an onslaught to end the round.
Silva earned his respect early by dropping Hunt with a solid right hand in the first round. Hunt quickly got to his feet, but he served notice to Hunt that he was't the only serious striker in the Octagon.
In the fourth round, the two men battled back and forth, but Silva nearly stopped Hunt after landing a solid knee. He gained full mount in the final minute, and referee John Sharp—whose work was questionable all night—spared Hunt a stoppage.
In the fifth round, with both men bloodied, Hunt pounded away on Silva, but the big Brazilian's resolve and Hunt's tired arms couldn't generate a stoppage. Who knows where this leaves either man in the heavyweight ranks, but one thing is for sure, a rematch would get fans' interest.
After this bout, it is hard to even talk about the rest of the card, but here's a breakdown of every fight from UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane, Australia.
The Dominican Nightmare Puts Ben Wall on Dream Street
Alex “The Dominican Nightmare” Garcia looked dominant in his UFC debut on Saturday. He landed seven strikes in the first round. All of them were significant and every one put Ben Wall in peril.
A smashing uppercut marked a quick end of this fight and was just the first of a few stoppage wins early in the card.
Garcia is a beastly prospect who could do some real damage at 170 pounds.
Krzysztof Jotko Wins a Snooze Fest
These two middleweights had their efforts showered with boos, and neither man really showed the desire to throw or work effectively on the ground. Jotko remained unbeaten at 15-0, but it is unlikely fans will be clamoring for the 24-year-old’s next fight.
The official scorecards read: 29-28, 29-28, 30-27.
The Little Tank
We don’t normally see flyweights make a statement with big power, but Justin “Tank” Scoggins did just that. The 21-year-old from Greenville, S.C. decimated Richie Vaculik. He used amazing speed and well-placed punches to overwhelm Vaculik en route to his ninth win in as many fights. Keep an eye out for this young man.
Caio Magalhaes Outworks Nick Ring
In an entertaining bout, Magalhaes’ conditioning and overall skill was too much for a game, but outskilled Ring. The 25-year-old middleweight has a little ways to go before he can make himself a real player at 185 pounds, but with two straight wins under his belt, he’s headed in the right direction.
The official scorecards read: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28.
Mizugaki's Boxing and Chin Proves Superior to Phan
In a great bout, Takeya Mizugaki built up a solid need with hard combinations in the first two rounds. Phan tried to come back in the third round. He even rocked Mizugaki at one point, but he didn't smother his opponent the way he needed to.
Mizugaki composed himself and won the fight with his strong beginning. Phan showed great heart and recuperative powers. Mizugaki landed some hard shots in the first two rounds. For Phan to come back and have a shot to win in the third was impressive.
The official scorecards read: 29-28, 29-28, 30-28.
Bethe Correia Eeeks out a Close One
In a fight that could have easily been given to Julie Kedzie, Correia was awarded the split decision. Perhaps Correia's takedown in the third round was enough to influence the judges. Kedzie had seemingly put the first two rounds in the bag, but the judges didn't see it that way.
Correia stays undefeated and Kedzie has now lost four straight. Can you say cut line?
The official scorecards read: 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.
Potential Awesome Fight Ends With Doctor Stoppage
Clint Hester earned his second win in the UFC, but it ended abruptly—and not because of a huge punch or submission. After a relatively even first round, Hester dominated the second round with overwhelming strength. He used less-than-ideal form to get Dylan Andrews to the mat, but once he got him there, he did a lot of damage with elbows.
When the two men got to their feet, Andrews was winded and hurt. He tried to throw a hard right hand, which grazed Hester's shoulder. The strike dislocated Andrews' shoulder, and the fight had to be called to an end before the final round.
Hester was awarded a TKO, but don't be surprised to see these two go at it again once Andrews heals up.
Palelei Ends it Quickly
Soa Palelei took the first opportunity he got to take Pat Barry to the ground. Once he got him there, he quickly transitioned to a mount after eluding a Kimura attempt. Once he gained the mount he trapped Barry's left arm and simply battered Barry until the fight was stopped.
Ryan Bader Batters Anthony Perosh in a Major Way
In a fight that should have been stopped at about the three-minute mark in the third round, Ryan Bader dominated an overmatched Anthony Perosh.
The 41-year-old Aussie was bleeding profusely from his face and head in the final round. He was getting pounded on the ground, but the referee, Sharp, was apparently feeling sadistic.
He allowed Perosh to take an unnecessary pounding. Bader moved to 16-4 in his career, and hopefully, Perosh moves into retirement. He took a life-changing beating on Friday night.
There is No Doubt What Fight Generated the KO of the Night
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua landed a short left hook in the first round that snatched James Te Huna's consciousness like a thief in the night. Te Huna's body went limp almost immediately as he was out cold before he hit the canvas.
Again Mr. Sharp was a bit late to get over to rescue Te Huna from a vicious downward shot, but this offense wasn't nearly as perplexing as the prior bout. The win was a major statement for Rua and breathed life back into a career that seemed to be on shaky ground.
Dana White may be overstating things a bit, but it was a nasty finish.
That left hook bought him at least one more relatively high standing fight on a future UFC card.
Follow me for news and musings on MMA.