Last night (Dec. 6, 2013) Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweights Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva put forth a ridiculously exciting war in the main event of UFC Fight Night 33 from Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Queensland, Australia.
There's no question that the bout will go down in history as one of the best back-and-forth slugfests ever seen in mixed martial arts (MMA). Both fighters landed countless power shots and continued to fight on with seemingly superhuman resiliency. In the end, the classic was declared a majority draw. It was fitting that neither fighter lost at UFC Fight Night 33.
Let's take a look back at what may have been the best heavyweight battle to ever take place in the Octagon.
Hunt and Silva came out slow at the outset, but that was soon to change. The Australian crowd was obviously behind Hunt in a big way, chanting his name with a thunderous ovation. "Bigfoot" attempted to silence them by throwing a front kick, to which Hunt responded by looking for his patented hooks. They couldn't find a home and Silva countered with a combination.
Hunt pressed forward to land a few punches but "Bigfoot" rocked him with a good shot of his own.
"Super Samoan" was floored as "Bigfoot" swarmed for the finish. The notoriously iron-chinned Hunt recovered well to reverse Silva in the clinch and bully him up against the fence. It was a close first round that may have been edged out by "Bigfoot."
Hunt looked to control the Octagon in the opening stages of the second round. While he was successful in doing so, he didn't score too many points in the process. Silva began to counter Hunt's power hook by snapping crisp low kicks to "Super Samoan's" lead leg. Hunt slowed and his opponent saw an opportunity to press the pace but couldn't bull rush him.
Hunt fought back with a big right hand and a body kick. Silva threw a huge leg kick that hurt him to end the round.
But Hunt came back strong to open the third round. He took down "Bigfoot" for a short time. Silva soon got back to his feet, however, and looked to clinch Hunt against the cage. Hunt reversed once again.
Then Hunt threw a fight changing straight right that sent "Bigfoot" flying.
Hunt looked to finish on the ground with some sharp elbows. Silva was in big trouble as punches rained down in bunches from "Super Samoan." The third round was a dominant showing by Hunt that turned the tide in his favor.
Silva went back to his kicking game in the fourth round. They weren't quite as effective as they were earlier in the bout as he showed signs of fatigue. Unfazed, Silva continued to throw good shots before Hunt took him to the mat to land more ground and pound. Silva finally looked to utilize his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with an armbar attempt but it never had a serous chance at success.
A big exchange soon followed with Silva appearing to get the best of it. He got Hunt on the ground and eventually mounted him to do some ground damage of his own. Hunt was bloodied and in serious trouble but was saved by the bell.
The final frame of this classic match began with a mutual show of respect from both fighters. Hunt began to tee off on "Bigfoot," landing a huge elbow and a flurry of punches. Silva looked for an unsuccessful takedown to take more damage. He was definitely rocked and gushing blood as the ringside doctor stepped in to examine a huge cut opened up on his head.
The lull in action benefitted "Bigfoot" because he was undoubtedly on the verge of being finished at that point.
After the doctor deemed him fit to continue fighting, "Bigfoot" showed new life. He threw and landed a mixed bag of shots despite being exhausted. Hunt was gassed but did his best to fight back as the rousing war came to a close. The first score was announced as 48-47 for Hunt but the other two scored it 47-47 for a majority draw.
Neither fighter deserves to fall one spot due from the performances they just put on. The bout was a late candidate for "Fight of the Year" and will be forever remembered in MMA history. It was a huge surprise to see it go five full rounds, let alone with the sheer amount of striking volume put forth by both fighters.
Hunt may actually improve his standing in the rankings since he was outside the top 10 before this fight.
He could sneak back into the rankings at number nine or 10 next week. Even if he doesn't, it's clear that "Super Samoan" is one of the most resilient and powerful fighters in the world right now. He deserves to fight a top opponent in his next fight. The amount of punishment he took and kept on fighting can only be labeled as insane.
And the exact same thing must be said about "Bigfoot," as well.
Silva proved that he could stand and trade with one of the most lethal strikers in UFC and he did so for the entirety of a five-round main event. His effort last night proves that he does indeed deserve his lofty number-four ranking.
But what's next for "Bigfoot?"
He's recently teased a fight against Josh Barnett, who is scheduled to face off opposite Travis Browne at UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013 from Las Vegas, Nevada. If Barnett does get by "Hapa," a date with Silva could possibly be arranged.
However, it may be destined to have him face Hunt in a rematch. No winner was declared last night. The fans deserve to know who was truly the best between these two gritty and determined martial artists.
For complete UFC Fight Night 33 results and play-by-play, as well as reactions, videos, highlights and more, be sure to check out our "Hunt vs. Bigfoot" live story stream by clicking here.
Mark Hunt and "Bigfoot" Silva gave the MMA world a bout that will never be forgotten. What are your thoughts on the classic? Did either slugger do enough to sway the judges' decision?