The UFC’s return to New Zealand could feature a heavyweight main event between Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis.
Heavyweight contender Derrick Lewis said he wanted to fight Mark Hunt next, and it looks like he’ll get his wish. MMAjunkie reported on Monday that Lewis vs. Hunt is being targeted to headline UFC Fight Night in Auckland, New Zealand on June 11th (June 10th in North America due to time zone differences). UFC officials haven’t formally announced the matchup, and with Hunt still on medical suspension, he can’t proceed until he’s given clearance to fight.
Lewis (18-4) is coming off a dramatic KO win over Travis Browne in last month UFC Halifax main event. He survived a difficult first round before rendering Browne unconscious midway through the second. It was the sixth straight victory for “The Black Beast,” with five of them coming by knockout. This would be the third straight appearance as a headliner, having also stopped Shamil Abdurakhimov at UFC Albany in December.
Hunt (12-11-1, 1 NC) was knocked out by the vicious knees of Alistair Overem at UFC 209 earlier this month. The 42-year-old has won just two of his last six fights, and his last four losses have all been by KO or TKO. His last main event bout was exactly one year ago, when he scored a walkoff KO win vs. former heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC Brisbane.
As of the March 15th update, the UFC rankings have Lewis listed at #6, while Hunt is #7 in the heavyweight top-15.
UFC Auckland will take place at the Vector Arena. The night’s main card will air live on Fox Sports 1.