Welcome to the Mark Hunt show. It’s where the UFC books the hard-hitting puncher typically on some overseas show and hopes for the best: A walk-off knockout.
Playing the punching bag on this night, at UFC Fight Night 85, is Frank Mir, reprising his role from 2009 against Brock Lesnar. In that fight, at least, Lesnar had enough energy and drive to jump to the ground and go for the ground and pound.
Let’s dive into the pool and if you are in the splash zone, cover up.
5. Stop The Fight!!!
When a fighter looks up at the referee to stop the fight, you usually suck as a referee.
Neil Magny absolutely killed Hector Lombard in the second and third rounds. The number of unanswered punches is up for dispute — anywhere from 40 to 100 — but it may as well have been 1,000. Referee Steve Perceval either had money on Lombard or his little sister has a crush on the Cubano and he couldn’t pull the trigger.
Somebody needs a refresher course in Refereeing 101. Hell, just tell him to watch this video. Now here’s a referee who KNOWS how to stop a fight. Maybe we should get Don King breathing down the neck of some of these refs to get them to do their jobs:
Editor’s note: Nostalgia
4. Neil Magny vs. Conor McGregor
Based on the way Magny was laid out in the first round by Lombard, it’s probably not best for him to step into the cage against Robbie Lawler. The welterweight champion has better cardio than Lombard and probably wouldn’t have let Magny back in the fight like Lombard did. But Magny is a hot property, so if Conor McGregor wants to fight at welterweight, book him in a match with Magny, instead of a set-up fight with Nate Diaz, whom the UFC hopes will trade with him and give McGregor the advantage. Let McGregor fight with the real welterweights, not just the ones that the UFC hopes he can beat.
3. Retirement Line Gets Bigger
If anyone should be talking about retirement, or should be Bellator-bound, it’s James Te Huna. He’s been KO’d or submitted in his last four fights — all in the first round. Yes, Bosse looked great in delivering his straight right hand on Te Huna, but Te Huna is done. He is moving backwards in his career and even if he is from New Zealand and can drawl a live crowd and ratings, the UFC might cut this guy. He’s not going to turn it around.
2. Mark Hunt Does Not Deserve A Title Shot
Mark Hunt beat Frank Mir. So what? Like we didn’t see that coming. Mir needed to have survived the first round in order to make it competitive and that clearly didn’t happen. Hunt is always going to look good when he lands a big punch. That’s what he does. Jon Jones throws elbows. Hulk Hogan wins money. Mark Hunt knocks you out. But but the elites of the division tend to expose Hunt. He also didn’t look great physically. While he’s never going to win the Jesse “The Body” Award for best abs, he didn’t look his normal Somoan-big self. Time isn’t on his side either. Keep him as a special attraction — fighting on overseas cards. Book him against Andrei Arlovski if you want to see a head fly across the Octagon. But don’t give him a title shot.
1. Frank Mir SHOULD NOT RETIRE
Yeah, he got knocked out by Mark Hunt. So what? Hunt knocks out a lot of guys. Mir is never going to be heavyweight champion of the world again, but if there’s a place in this sport for Hunt, CM Punk and Vitor Belfort in 2016, there’s a place for Frank Mir. Yes, he’s slower, fatter and less energetic, but he can still beat some guys. Whoever booked Hunt vs. Mir clearly wanted to see Mir get knocked out. That’s a bad fight for him. But with a good camp, and if he trains 100 percent, Mir can still be competitive against some guys. The UFC should book Mir against Arlovksi. Yes, the first fight was terrible, but both guys know that so they will probably come out differently. Give Mir a competitive fight (James Te Huna, anybody?) and then send him off to the UFC Hall of Fame and an inevitable career in the broadcast booth. Don’t call for his retirement just because he got knocked out by Mark Hunt. Hunt hits so hard he would knock out Jon Jones, you know, if Jones was 36 years old, overweight, and slow.