NEW ZEALAND (Sat, June 10, 2017)– Live from the Spark Arena in Aukland New Zealand the UFC made their return with a heavyweight banger headlined by two of the heaviest hitters in all of MMA. But before Lewis and Hunt square off we had a huge fight in the middleweight division and a flyweight bout that featured a former title challenger.
Before the main card kicked off, the prelims got started on the UFC Fight Pass before heading to FS1. We get started tonight in the strawweight division were former TUF competitor JJ Aldrich (4-2) looked to bounce back against the undefeated Chanmi Jeon (5-0). A bloody banger that goes the distance and it was Aldrich that gets the decision. Winner: JJ Aldrich (5-2) by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,30-27). – loser: Chanmi Jeon (5-1). Next up we head to the welterweight division as Kiichi Kunimoto (18-6-2) took on Zak Ottow (14-4). A very close fight between two well-rounded fighters and after going the distance Zak Ottow does enough to get the win. Winner: Zak Ottow (15-4) by Split Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28). – Loser: Kiichi Kunimoto (18-7-2). Next we head to the flyweight division as #11 John Moraga (16-6) took on the newcomer Ashkan Mokhtarian (13-1). A beautiful bounce back performance for John Moraga as he dominated Mokhtarian from start to finish. Winner: John Moraga (17-6) by Unanimous Decision (30-25,30-27,30-27). – Loser: Ashkan Mokhtarian (13-2). The welterweights were up next as hometown hero Luke Jumeau (11-3) took on Dominique Steele (14-8). Count one for the hometown as Jumeau edges out Steele in a very close fight. Winner: Luke Jumeau (12-3) by Split Decision (29-28,29-28,29-28). – Loser: Dominique Steele (14-9). Down to the lightweights next as Damien Brown (17-9) took on Vinc Pichel (9-1). And here comes the first finish of the night as Pichel finishes Brown in the 1st round. Winner: Vinc Pichel (10-1) by TKO Round 1. – Loser: Damien Brown (17-10).
The main card kicked off and the featherweights took center octagon as Alexander Volkanovski (14-1) took on Mizuto Hirota (19-7-2). The main card kicks off with another close fight that goes the distance and Alexander Volkanovski gets the decision. Winner: Alexander Volkanovski (15-1) by Unanimous Decision (30-27,30-27,30-27). – Loser: Mizuto Hirota (19-8-2). Next up in the flyweight division TUF winner and former title challenger #8 Tim Elliott (15-7-1) took on the KO artist Ben Nguyen (16-6). Ben Ngyuen shocks the world and dominates Elliott on his way to a submission finish. Winner: Ben Nguyen (17-6) by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1. – Loser: Tim Elliott (15-8-1). The big bad light heavyweights were up next as Ion Cutelaba (12-3) took on Henrique da Silva (12-2). It took less than 30 seconds for Cutelaba to finish da Silva in the 1st round by strikes. WOW what a finish. Winner: Ion Cutelaba (13-3) by TKO Round 1. – Loser: Henrique da Silva (12-3). Next up we head back to the lightweight division as old reliable Ross Pearson (21-13) took on the moving up in weight Dan Hooker (14-7). Another shocking finish as a flying knee by Hooker knocks out Pearson, the mouth piece goes flying and that was all she wrote. WOW! Winner: Dan Hooker (15-7) by KO Round 1. – Loser: Ross Pearson (21-14). Next we head to the co main event were two top middleweights went head to head as #8 Derek Brunson (16-5) took on #15 Daniel Kelly (13-1). Derek Brunson waste no time and gets back on the winning track as he finishes Kelly in the first round by KO. Brunson’s hands are dangerous!! Winner: Derek Brunson (17-5) by KO Round 1. – Loser: Daniel Kelly (13-2).
Main Event Heavyweight Division
#6 Derrick Lewis (18-4) Vs #7 Mark Hunt (12-11-1)
The main event featured two of the hardest hitting heavyweights in the world, Derrick Lewis is maybe a win or two away from a title shot and Mark Hunt is always a threat anytime he steps in the octagon. Mark Hunt was on a mission tonight and it showed early in the fight as he came out strong by closing the cage off and laying into Derrick Lewis. Lewis did have his moments where he had Hunt slightly hurt but when Lewis would try to use his length Hunt would bob and move to avoid the danger. By the third round Lewis was gassed out and Hunt just kept coming. Into the 4th Lewis had a bad leg injury Hunt started to lay in on a covered-up Lewis and that was all she wrote. A perfectly executed fight for Mark Hunt, and to do it in front of his hometown makes it even more bitter-sweet. Lewis fought hard and his heart showed but on the night The Black Beast just couldn’t handle the Super Samoan.
Winner: Mark Hunt (13-11-1) by TKO Round 4
Loser: Derrick Lewis (18-5)
By: Rick San Bartolome
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