Hunt and Silva went back and forth, trading significant strikes for five rounds, giving the fans at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre a memorable show. In the end, one judge scored it 48-47 for Hunt, and the other two had it 47-47 each.
Both fighters calmly measured each other until halfway through the first round, when the two engaged in an exchange that saw Silva land the first significant blow. Hunt went down, but soon recovered and the fight returned to the feet. The two exchanged strikes again, this time in a clinch against the cage and the round ended soon after.
Hunt leaped forward with looping punches shortly after the second round began. Each time Hunt closed the distance, Silva would attempt to clinch and work towards a takedown. Hunt, however, sprawled and broke free from a number of clinches. Silva hurt his opponent with several leg kicks throughout the round, leaving Hunt limping and switching to a southpaw stance towards the end of the frame.
Hunt scored a takedown early in the third round in an attempt to work on the ground, but Silva returned to the feet, grabbing the fence in the process and without the referee noticing. After exchanges in the clinch, Hunt landed a heavy right hand, dropping Silva to the ground. Hunt pursued and landed short strikes from half guard until the end of the time allowed.
Hunt stayed aggressive, throwing heavy hands as the fourth round began. Silva came back with his own flurry of punches, but Hunt persevered and soon shot in to take Silva down. The fight returned to the feet and Hunt landed thunderous punches that wobbled his opponent, but Silva recovered and landed equally heavy punches that sent the Samoan reeling. Hunt attempted a trip takedown, but Silva recovered to mount and finished out the round landing strikes in top position.
In the final round, Hunt and Silva appeared exhausted, but continued to trade with what seemed like every ounce of energy each man had left. Hunt scored with left hooks, overhand rights and elbows, cutting Silva’s face open. Silva also scored with punches, backing Hunt against the cage at one point. Time expired with the two clinging onto each other, clinching, but this time congratulating each other for having fought through one of the most entertaining heavyweight fights in recent memory.
Hunt thanked his team and others during his post-fight interview, bringing his young son in to answer questions for him thereafter. Young Hunt, however, wasn’t interested in talking.
As for Silva, he revealed that he hurt his back a few weeks ago, but gave credit to Hunt for the fight.
“Mark is a tough guy,” Silva said. “I [did] my best today.”
Following the evening’s majority draw, Hunt’s overall MMA record goes to 9-8-1, while Silva’s moves to 18-5-1.
(Follow @Erik_Fontanez on Twitter)
© 2013 MMA Weekly All Rights Reserved.