Adelaide, Australia - In what was to be a homecoming of sorts for UFC Heavyweight fighter Mark Hunt, Stipe Miocic decided to rain on the parade.
On May 9, in front of nearly 8,000 UFC fans in the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, #4 ranked Heavyweight Miocic put on a clinic against #5 ranked Heavyweight Hunt, delivering a UFC record 361 strikes.
This feat eclipsed the former record held by Royce Gracie of 355 strikes at UFC 5. The crowd willed on the "Super Samoan" but to no avail. In retrospect, the fight should have ended long before the 2:47 mark of Round 5.
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The fight between Miocic and Hunt was exactly what was to be expected from these two warriors; non-stop action. Hunt came out early on looking strong, in control of the -250 favourite. However, conditioning played a huge factor in the fight as it went on.
Miocic took over as the dominant fighter at the 2:15 mark of the first round with a brilliant takedown. Although, Mark Hunt was able to escape, the damage was being done. At the beginning of Round 2, Hunt already looked to be out of gas.
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Stipe continued on his path, thoroughly outclassing the former UFC Interim Heavyweight title contender, picking Mark Hunt apart like a surgeon. The third round was the true turning point of the bout.
An early takedown by Miocic brought about a barrage of strikes raining down on Hunt, eventually cutting the New Zealand native open. Stipe thought he had done enough to win, even looking towards referee John Sharp at points of the onslaught.
However, the fight continued into the Championship rounds. More of the same came from Miocic throughout the fourth round before finally ending it with a TKO of Hunt in Round 5, after 361 strikes had found their home. Miocic proved to be a force to reckon within this division.
Stipe Miocic (12-2) appears to be on a collision course with the loser of the Fabricio Werdum-Cain Velasquez UFC Heavyweight Championship fight thus giving him a chance to place himself in a future title fight, despite the fact that he had lost to Junior dos Santos back in December.
Miocic has superior conditioning and striking, as well as being arguably the best wrestler in the Heavyweight division. His stock is rising.
On the other hand, the opposite could be said about Mark Hunt (10-10-1). Hunt is 1-3-1 in his last five fights which is a far cry from winning four straight between February 2011 - March 2013. It's hard to say where the veteran goes from here. Hunt still has three fights remaining on his contract but it's difficult to picture Hunt getting back to title contention again in the UFC.
Middleweight: Robert Whittaker def. Brad Tavares via KO at 0:44 of Round 1
Light Heavyweight: Sean O'Connell def. Anthony Perosh via TKO at 0:56 of Round 1
Lightweight: James Vick def. Jake Matthews via Guillotine Choke submission) at 4:53 of Round 1