Mark Hunt picked up yet another finish and continues to entertain us into his 40s. This time, he might have brought a surprising end to the career of a rising heavyweight.
Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis went nearly a full four rounds before their UFC Auckland main event came to an end. But when it was all over, Hunt came out the victor and might have brought an end to a young heavyweight’s rise.
Lewis and Hunt measured each other early on, both being careful knowing the other had the power to bring the fight to a quick halt. While Hunt took control of the center of the Octagon and looked for combinations, Lewis threw a number of high kicks and switch kicks to keep his opponent at bay.
As the rounds went on, both of these heavyweight fighters began to feel the endurance fade away. Hunt, however, maintained the center of the arena and backed his opponent against the cage with combos and power shots. At times, Lewis threw counter punches with intent to do massive harm, but many missed wildly and only took more energy away.
Hunt smelled blood in the late moments in the fight. He stormed his opponent with various strikes against the cage, and all Lewis could do was cover up to avoid more damage. With Hunt dropping bomb after bomb, the referee brought a stop to the fight at 3:51 of the fourth round.
What was the highlight of the fight?
It came a lot later than everyone expected, but the finish in Round 4 was the highlight of this contest.
Lewis had his hands on his hips for much of the late moments of the fight. Hunt, a 43-year-old veteran with two decades of experience, was wise on his foe’s weaknesses and jumped at the opportunity. It wasn’t a walk-off knockout like Hunt has done with almost regularity, but it was a stoppage nonetheless.
Hunt threw furious elbows on his way to the finish. Lewis attempted to spin away from danger, but found himself trapped against the cage and covered up in a last attempt to avoid damage. With consecutive unanswered strikes, Hunt got the stoppage and a win.
Where do these two go from here?
Hunt continues to surprise many of us by approaching his mid 40s and still being a competitive fighter in the UFC’s heavyweight division. It’s hard to remember the last time Hunt disappointed with an outing, so you can match him with damn near anyone and you’ll get your money’s worth. Up next, though, might be a tall order in either Francis Ngannou or someone like Andrei Arlovski.
What’s next for Derrick Lewis is an interesting question. After the loss, he interviewed with Brian Stann and said that this was probably his last fight because he doesn’t like putting his family through all this. Obviously, the moments after a loss are emotional, and sometimes fighters call for retirement and later walk those comments back. With Lewis, we don’t know for sure. He’s only 32 years old and can still do great things at heavyweight, but some things are more important than fighting. Look to get some more clarity on his next steps in the coming months, but not before he gets married next week.
Watch now, later, or never?
Do yourself the favor skip the entire fight card on your DVR to the main event. You can catch a couple other fight’s finishes on YouTube, but enjoy the main event for all it’s flailing bungalow punches.