Fans had been wanting, waiting, and wishing for a fight between heavyweights Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson. At UFC Fight Night 52 on Saturday in Tokyo, all the patience paid off, as the two big bruisers finally stepped into the Octagon opposite each other.
The only question left unanswered was: would the fight live up to the hype?
As expected, the pace of the two men clocking in at 260-plus pounds couldn’t match that of the lighter divisions, but what they lacked in pure speed, they made up for in power. Both men were swinging for the knockout from the opening bell, but it was Hunt’s cleaner striking technique that paid dividends early, particularly with several solid leg kicks and his punch combinations.
Nelson missed with a lot of his punches in the first half of the round, but closed a little better, finally finding a home for some of his punches, although not the powerful overhand right that he was gunning for.
He shifted gears in round two, quickly putting Hunt on the mat and taking his back, but as quickly as Nelson gained position, Hunt shook him off and put the fight back where he is strongest: standing.
Nelson again tried to bring the fight back to the ground, but Hunt would have none of it, fending off Nelson’s subsequent takedown attempts and started to open the fight up with a solid three-punch combination.
Going in, nobody expected this fight to go five rounds, but it wouldn’t even go three.
Hunt showed that as much technique as he has, it is coupled with power. Pawing with his jab, Hunt got Nelson to duck down and move forward, and that’s when he launched a single uppercut that put out the lights, Nelson falling face first to the floor.
Three minutes into the second round, the fight was over with Hunt scoring the seventh knockout of his mixed martial arts career.