UFC Auckland: Mark Hunt pulls off home victory with TKO of Derrick Lewis as Derek Brunson blasts past Daniel Kelly

Hunt clinched a fourth-round stoppage at the UFC returned to New Zealand for just the second time

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The Independent Online

The UFC headed to New Zealand for only the second time in their history on Sunday for UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland.

The main event featured a battle between two hard-hitting heavyweights, Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis. The pre-fight talk was all about how the bout wouldn’t go the full five rounds and while the forecasts were accurate, it did go on a little longer than many might have expected it would.

The pattern of the fight was established very early on as the local man Hunt took the centre of the Octagon and pushed Lewis back towards the outer perimeter of the cage. The Australian was doing all the pressuring, but Lewis was still threatening with some nice kicks both to the legs and head of Hunt who for the most part checked and blocked them well.

Despite his constant pressure, Hunt had a little success in the first round, but he found a home for an elbow early in the second and visibly wobbled the legs of Lewis. Hunt poured forward looking to capitalize, but Lewis responded well with his own hook and Hunt’s momentum was somewhat thwarted. Hunt landed a nice overhand left before the bell, but Lewis ate it well and took to his stool seemingly ok.

The pace of the bout was looking like it was really getting to both me in the third, but Hunt continued to push forward and had Lewis backpedalling once again on the outside. Some nice shots to the body had Lewis in even more trouble as fatigue began to set in. The American was caught by a pair of right hands midway through the round, but he battled on bravely despite looking uneasy on his feet.

By the fourth round the writing looked on the wall and it ultimately proved to be the end. Hunt landed a big right hand to send Lewis’ back into the cage and he bent over covering up his head with his hands. Hunt saw his opportunity and flurried him with elbows, uppercuts and hooks as Lewis simply stood their taking the punishment. Thankfully, referee Marc Goddard was on hand to call the fight over before Lewis got seriously hurt.

It was a brave effort by both men, but ultimately it was Hunt’s night as he soaked up the adulation of the Kiwi crowd.

In a shock announcement afterwards, Lewis said this was “probably” his last fight and that he “couldn’t put his family through it anymore,” only time will tell as to whether this was a serious announcement. 

Derek Brunson blasts through Daniel Kelly

In the co-main event, a middleweight contest between Derek Brunson and Daniel Kelly barely made it out the first minute.

Brunson had been criticized for his cautious approach in his fight with Anderson Silva, but last evening he got the job done early. The first minute was mostly a feeling out phase, but after 70-seconds Brunson seized his opportunity after Kelly dropped his right hand. Brunson set him up by pawing away with his right and Kelly took his eye off his left hand which landed flush on his jaw.

Kelly dropped to the mat instantly and Brunson poured on the ground shots before the referee called the fight to a abrupt end. It was a great finish by a man who will be looking to make some serious moves up the 185-pounds division by the end of the year.

Elsewhere on the card …

Ion Cutelaba recorded the seventh fastest knockout in UFC light heavyweight history, while Brit Ross Pearson suffered his third loss in a row after he was knocked out cold by a vicious knee to the face by Dan Hooker.

UFC Fight Night 110 Full Results

Mark Hunt def. Derrick Lewis via TKO (Punches), Round 4 - 3:51

Derek Brunson def. Daniel Kelly via TKO (Punches), Round 1 – 1:18

Dan Hooker def. Ross Pearson via KO (Knee), Round 2 - 3:02

Ion Cutelaba def. Henrique da Silva via KO (Punches), Round 1 - 0:22

Ben Nguyen def. Tim Elliott via Submission (Rear-naked choke), Round 1 - 0:49

Luke Jumeau def. Dominique Steele via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Alexander Volkanovski def. Mizuto Hirota (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Vinc Pichel def. Damien Brown via KO (Punch), Round 1 - 3:37

John Moraga def. Ashkan Mokhtarian via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-27)

Zak Ottow def. Kiichi Kunimoto via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

J.J. Aldrich def. Chan-Mi Jeon via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)