The latest UFC live card from the Land Down Under last night (or this morning, if you were actually in Australia, but that’s neither here nor there) and the hometown fighters on the card mostly did their countrymen proud, particularly in the main event. Although Mark Hunt is not a native Australian, he is beloved down under and delivered another memorable performance. So what else happened on the evening’s main card?
Bec Rawlings def. Seo Hee Ham by unanimous decision
Rawlings’ striking was on display here, as her size and strength advantage served her well against the quicker and more technical Ham. Rawlings landed shot after shot throughout the fight and worked in some great ground-and-pound. Even though Ham returned fire, she was unable to faze Rawlings except for a late submission attempt that almost netted Ham an upset victory. But Rawlings escaped and held on for a victory that hopefully leads to bigger things in a still-crowded women’s strawweight divison.
Steve Bosse def. James Te Huna by first-round knockout
This one didn’t last very long. Bosse is a former hockey player-turned-MMA fighter, and that was on full display here. After a (very) brief feeling-out period, Bosse landed a wicked hook that sent Te Huna crashing to the canvas and did not require any follow-up strikes by Bosse. The knockout loss was Te Huna’s fourth consecutive defeat, and it’s hard to imagine the UFC will keep him around.
Daniel Kelly def. Antonio Carlos Junior by third-round TKO
The native Australian Kelly was a heavy underdog coming into this fight against the highly-touted Carlos Junior. It definitely showed in the first round, as Carlos Junior wasted no time taking Kelly’s back and nearly locked in a rear-naked choke multiple times. Kelly rebounded somewhat in the second round and completed his epic comeback with a devastating knee to Carlos Junior’s face, and followed up with some ground-and-pound that gave him the TKO victory and a roar from the crowd full of his fellow Australians.
Jake Matthews def. Johnny Case defeated by third-round submission
This was a stand-up battle for the most part. But in the third round Matthews locked in a submission attempt that was not successful due to an illegal cage grab by Case, which was inexplicably not penalized by the referee. But Matthews tried his luck again, locking in a rear-naked choke for the submission victory as the third round was ticking down.
Neil Magny def. Hector Lombard by third-round TKO
Magny became the first fighter to ever finish Lombard in his mixed martial arts career, but Magny almost never had the chance. Lombard caught him with a devastating left hand early in the first round, and it was probably Magny’s sheer will that prevented him from being finished.
However, Lombard appeared to gas himself out going for the early finish, as Magny collected himself and pounced in Round 2. Magny caught Lombard with strikes of his own and executed devastating ground-and-pound that should have led to the fight being called. However, again, inexplicably, the referee did not step in. It was not a good night of officiating in Australia, to say the least.
It was clear that Lombard had nothing left in the tank, as Magny took him to the mat once again in Round 3 and finally unleashed enough ground-and-pound that the referee finally called the fight less than a minute into the round. However, it shouldn’t have come to that, as Lombard was clearly finished in Round 2. Magny has won five of six and is skyrocketing up the welterweight rankings after some initial struggles in his UFC career.
Mark Hunt def. Frank Mir by first-round knockout
Ho hum. Another Mark Hunt fight, another walk-off knockout victory. The first round was barely half over before Hunt caught Mir with left hook behind the ear that sent Mir to the canvas and Hunt walking away in the other direction, convinced that he knocked Mir out. The walk-off knockout is becoming a staple of Hunt’s arsenal, and the crowd in Australia let him know their approval. Hunt has now won two fights in a row, and may be gearing up for another run at the UFC heavyweight title.