UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs Hunt
UFC Fight Night 110 - Spark Arena
Auckland, New Zealand
3 kiwis fight of the night bonus , KO of the night and debut of the Luke 'Jedi' Jumeau has stamped New Zealand as small but brutal breeding ground of natural born killers.
Its been over 20 years since Mark Hunt fought on hometown soil. In his own words 2 decades ago he had his first kickboxing fight 1km away from the Spark Arena. That infamous night of being spotted in a street fight has lead a pugilistic journey around the world, sold out arenas, first class flights, all nighters in casinos, launching a clothing brand, winning the K-1 world title and releasing a book which has captivated hundreds of thousands around the world.
This could have all come an end in what some would say a very risky fight against USA's top contender Derrick 'Black Beast' Lewis. Punters around the globe predicted this to be over within 1-2 rounds but to their disappointment and fight fans excitement it went close to 5 torturous rounds.
Mark pushed the pressure from using his experience and short sharp punches and low leg kicks. The Beast initially did not make this easy throwing multiple head kicks and wild hooks that caught the head and guard of hunt. With a egg on shin and cut on head some may have thought this could be long slow grind and dismal end. As the fight wore on the Beast's energy depleted and each step he grimaced as Hunt unloaded punishing blows. The final combination had the beast up against the cage with Mark going in for the kill and violently disposing of the Black Beast.
“I have the most respect for Derrick. If this fight had been my last, it would’ve been perfect to end here in Auckland but it looks like we will still have time left. I want big fights against top opponents. I only have a few fights left so I want to go for anyone above me.” Mark Hunt
Dan 'Hangman' Hooker looked better than ever scoring a highlight worthy and gum guard flying KO that will be watched for years to come. Veteran and no joke Ross Pearson was aggressive and explosive knowing he was the shorter of the two capitalized on his fast movement slip in and out with strikes.
Hooker was patient and timed his shots using his long range with teeps and head kicks. The fight was fairly even until Ross bobbed and weaved to throw an over hand right which was met by the mother of all knees. Knee on chin put Pearson on his back with Hangman jumping over and landing one more hammer fist for good measure.
Taking no chances the Hangman had set the noose on Ross and wasn't going to allow him to leave consciously. This was more than enough to have the ref dive in and call its quits. Dan 'Hangman' Hooker roared into the mic post fight describing the excitement of the fight and asking the crowd ' Who wants to see Kai Kara in the UFC?!' to which the crowd responded like spartans in the scene of 300.
“I feel like I’m going to have to spend a few days reflecting on this. All I could envision was the bell ringing so now that it’s all done, I’m going to sit back on the farm and enjoy this experience. It’s an amazing feeling to have everyone here in Auckland see me fight. Ross Pearson is a guy you can never underestimate so I owe everything to my coaches. They studied the tapes, they made me drill that knee over and over, and they are the reason this happened tonight. I’m going back to training right away. The gym is open tomorrow so I’ll be back at it then!” Dan Hooker
Luke Jedi' Jemeau was up against a tough contender Dominque Steel ( USA ) - over 22 fights and 14 wins with 4 via KO. Pre fight the weigh in was tense with both fighters going nose to nose resulting in a perfect recipe for a good old fashioned scrap in 4 oz gloves.
Luke the smaller of the two displayed more gas in the tank and sharper technique with multiple head shots that eventually broke down Steel. A unanimous win against a durable contender cements Jedi's placement in what is considered the the pinnacle of Mixed martial arts. In Lukes own words he statedto every person watching thank you from the bottom of my heart I believed in myself, this is the beginning! I am here for the long haul man!
“My whole career has been overseas so this was an incredible moment for myself and my fans. To be fighting for the largest promotion in the world, right here in my home was special. I won't lie, I definitely felt the jitters. I had a little adrenaline dump. Nothing surprised me though, it was exactly what I expected. When you're a striker and you feel those connections, it almost feels like a video game and you want to keep building on your combos. That's why the third round was so amazing... and hearing the crowd behind me made it even better. I am ready to fight whoever the UFC can line up. Put me on the Sydney card, put me on a pay-per-view. I'm ready to go!” Luke Jumeau
Tonight was a true display of a small nation punching far above their weight, 3 from 3 is no easy feat on the global stage. To even make the rooster and be included on the payroll of murders row is an achievement. To win in devastating fashion builds the foundation for a legacy. In conjunction with other rising stars such as Kieran 'Stonecutter' Joblin, Kai Kara France and Israel Adesanya its almost a certainty the UFC will be back again before the end of 2018.
UFC Fight Results
1. Women's Strawweight 3x5 minutes
JJ Aldrich vs Chanmi Jeon
Winner- JJ Aldrich - Unanimous
2. Welterweight 3x5 minutes
Kiichi Kunimoto (JAPN) vs Zak Ottow ( USA )
Winner - Zak Ottow- Split Decision
Flyweight 3x5 minutes
3. John Moraga - ( USA ) vs Ashkan Mokhtarian ( IRAN )
Winner - John Moraga - Unanimous
4. Welterweight 3x5 minutes
Luke 'Jedi' Jumeau ( NZ ) vs Dominque Steel ( USA )
Winner - Luke Jumeau - Unanimous
5. Lightweight 3x5 minutes
Damien Brown ( AUS ) vs Vinc Pichel ( USA )
Winner - Vinc Pichel- KO RD 1 ( Left hook then GNP )
6. Featherweight 3x5 minutes
Alexander Volkanokski ( AU ) vs Mizuto Hirota ( JAPN )
Winner - Alexander Volkanokski- Unanimous
7. Flyweight 3x5 minutes
Tim Elliot ( USA ) vs Ben Nguyen ( USA / AU )
Winner - Ben Nguyen RD- Submission- Rear Naked Choke
8. Light Heavyweight 3x5 minutes
Ion Cutelaba ( Moldova ) vs Henrique da Silva ( Brazil )
Winner - Ion Cutelaba ( Moldova ) RD 1 KO Ground & Pound
9. Lightweight Bout 3x5 minutes
Dan Hooker ( NZ ) vs Ross Pearson ( UK )
Winner - Dan Hooker- RD 2 KO ( KNEE )
10. Middleweight Bout 3x5 minutes
Derek Brunson ( USA ) vs Daniel Kelly ( AU )
Winner - Derek Brunson RD 1 KO- Punch
11. Main Event
Heavyweight Bout 5x5 minutes
Derrick 'Black Beast' Lewis ( USA ) vs Mark 'Super Samon' Hunt ( NZ)
Winner - Mark Hunt TKO RD 4