Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to the Outback last night (Dec. 6, 2013) on FOX Sports 1, providing fans with an action-packed night of fights at UFC Fight Night 33: "Hunt vs. Silva," which took place at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Queensland, Australia.
The event started off strong and ended in devastating fashion, making this one of the better free fight cards in the past few weeks.
Unfortunately, in a sport like mixed martial arts (MMA), each bout can only have one winner and one loser. Earning a victory inside the world-famous Octagon is the highest of highs, while suffering a defeat in front of millions of viewers can be the lowest of lows. Every competitor who steps foot insid the eight-walled cage is looking for that moment of glory.
Some capture it, others don't.
There were several shining stars at UFC Fight Night 33, including knockout artists living up to expectations and a handful of surprises, including an instant classic. With that said, it's time to name the biggest winners and losers from the event in Brisbane.
Drum roll, please ...
To prove a doubter wrong using actions is a great feeling.
When this fight was announced, it was not that enticing to know that it was going to be the headliner. As the fight grew closer, we knew that this was either ending in one fighter unconscious, being lit up like a deer in the headlights, or that it could have been boring had it gone to a decision.
Fortunately, neither happened in the main event of UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane. Instead, we witnessed the fight of the year as it stands, and arguably the greatest heavyweight fight in history.
"Fight of The Night" winners Mark Hunt and "Bigfoot" Silva threw everything but the kitchen sink inside the Octagon last night. It was fun, sloppy, bloody, violent, defenseless, and downright exciting.
It was shameless to think if this went to a decision, it would have been boring, after what we saw last night. Say what you will about the decision, and who thought who won. It was a slugfest from start to finish, with the Australian fans behind their hometown hero and even his Brazilian counterpart.
Out of principle, a draw was the right call, as there was no loser in this fight.
Runner Up: Mauricio Rua
"Shogun is back" is becoming one of the most overused catchphrases in MMA. How many times can a fighter be "back?"
Well, maybe an example of that, could be that a fighter certainly can go back in time and resurrect the inner beast that they were in Pride FC, and save their career at that.
Rumors of Mauricio Rua's demise where indeed, greatly exaggerated, but what did that win tell us about "Shogun" in the long run?.
That was one of the best performances we have seen from Rua insid the Octagon, and he snapped a two-fight losing streak by knocking out James Te Huna in the scariest of fashions with a stick of dynamite in his left hand.
Now, he did fight an opponent who proved to be slightly under his level, yet we should not take anything away from Rua.
The question now is, can he continue fighting in that kind of form, and do something significant in the near future that can have him challenging for gold again?
Biggest Loser: Pat Barry
Pat Barry was not too thrilled about flying to Australia to fight, and he will not be too happy on the long flight home, either.
Maybe Soa Palelei did not get enough credit, and as Chael Sonnen said on the panel during the FOX Sports 2 Prelims, "laid an egg in his last fight" against Nikita Krylov. It looks like for now, we were wrong about Palelei, as he stormed past Pat Barry in one round, taking him down and knocking him out cold on the ground.
Barry even fell flat on his face when he got back up to his feet.
Or, it could be that Barry is fading as a heavyweight, and his time with the promotion could be running thin. Having lost three bouts in his past four outings, Barry has not looked good. This was his second straight loss, with a combined amount of cage time in this fight (and his last) clocking in at just over three minutes.
"HD" is an entertaining guy, inside and outside of the cage, not to mention one of the sport's most lovable natural characters, so it remains to be seen if Barry still has a place on the heavyweight roster; however, he has been knocked out (or lost by technical knockout), in four out his last five losses.
Runner Up: Julie Kedzie
Julie Kedzie is a pioneer of women's MMA, and fighting since 2004 is no easy task. She was deserving of her place on the UFC roster, after fighting for numerous promotions over the years.
Unfortunately for Kedzie, she dropped her fourth consecutive fight, this time to promotional newcomer Bethe Correia, and it could have been considered a questionable decision.
After confirming that her and her coaches had a lengthily conversation before her fight last night, Kedzie has decided to hang up the gloves.
Her record stands at 16-13, and who knows how different it could have gone had she found more success in both the UFC and Strikeforce. It would have been nice to go out with a win.
There you have it.
For complete UFC Fight Night 33: "Hunt vs. Bigfoot" results and recaps click here.