It was another Fight Pass exclusive for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), as the promotion traveled to Adelaide, South Australia last night (Sat., May 9, 2015) for UFC Fight Night 65: "Miocic vs Hunt."
The event was headlined by a heavyweight battle pitting top five contenders against each other as Stipe Miocic took on Mark Hunt in a pivotal clash. After four and a half rounds of a one-sided beatdown with Miocic turning Hunt's face into a swollen mess, the referee finally stopped the fight with about two minutes left to go in the final round.
The co-main event was a consequential middleweight tilt pitting Brad Tavares against hometown favorite Robert Whittaker. In just 44 seconds, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winner closed the show on the No. 14-ranked middleweight, earning his second straight stoppage victory at 185 pounds.
This card was absolutely bonkers, people.
Time and again it seems fight cards that are not stacked with "name" contenders offer up scintillating fights and violent finishes.
UFC brass is going to be giving away a whole lot of bonus checks after the fighters in Australia delivered ten incredible finishes, six via knockout and four via submission. After six of eight "Prelims" bouts ended within the distance, all four main card bouts didn't need the judges either.
Three knockouts occurred in under a minute, one of them was a last second finish in the first round, and another was a ridiculous head kick that face planted Hatsu Hioki.
We were also treated to Sam Alvey's beautiful sponsorship tan, a home-run comeback from Alex Chambers, and even though the event was capped off with a vicious one-sided beatdown from Stipe Miocic, the card as a whole was excellent.
Not only were the fights outstanding, but the majority of the post-fight interviews were entertaining as well, and the pacing made the experience even more enjoyable. By 12 a.m. ET, the co-main event had already been wrapped up!
UFC Fight Night 65 was a legendary evening for fight fans, and it definitely won't be forgotten anytime soon.
Stipe Miocic absolutely mauled Mark Hunt in Australia, putting on an impeccable performance as he essentially shut out the "Super Samoan."
Heading into the fight, many fight fans hoped Miocic would trade on the feet with Mark Hunt much like he did against Junior Dos Santos, but the Cleveland native had other plans. Instead of risking everything and being the latest victim on Hunt's highlight reel, Miocic flipped the script by dominating his opponent in the wrestling department.
Midway through the second round, Hunt was exhausted by Miocic's pressure, and he seemingly had no way to win the fight other than a miracle knockout.
The final three frames of the fight were absolutely brutal to watch, as Miocic desperately tried to finish a gassed and dazed Hunt who was far too tough for his own good. The referee nearly stopped the bout 10 times before he finally did late in the final frame, but Hunt's corner should have saved their fighter long before.
Regardless of how ugly it was to watch, Miocic proved he is among the very best heavyweights in the world, and he may be next in line once Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum settle their score and unify the titles at UFC 188.
How could anyone not love Sam Alvey?
"Smile'n" Sam took his second UFC fight in just 10 weeks, and guess what he did?! Yep, he knocked out his opponent in vicious fashion, for the third straight time.
Alvey has shocking stopping power, as all it really takes for him to finish the fight is a single haymaker.
After losing his UFC debut in a close decision against Tom Watson, Alvey has punished three straight opponents en route to first round knockouts. At first it seemed like a novelty, but with each victory comes the realization that Alvey is a legit threat in the middleweight division.
Once he was done dispatching the formerly undefeated Olympian Dan Kelly, Alvey put together an epic post-fight interview with Jon Anik, calling out Elias Theodorou to a loser shaves their head match, and chanting with the Aussie crowd he just let down by finishing their hometown hero.
And he walked out to "Hey Soul Sister" by Train? There is just nobody like Sam Alvey.
Oof, that was brutal.
Mark Hunt has long been lauded for his toughness and heart inside the cage, but like Junior Dos Santos before him, he was simply taking far too much punishment in a fight he just could not have won after the third round.
It is a weird catch-22 watching the "Super Samoan" get beat down the way he did in Adelaide, because you just know he can uncork a bomb of a left hook at any moment to close Miocic's lights out. But when he is on his back for the majority of the fight and his face is no longer recognizable, it is probably time for the referee to stop yelling "defend yourself" and start doing his job by stopping the fight and saving Hunt.
Dos Santos truly has not looked the same since his hellacious beatings at the hands of Cain Velasquez, and you have to wonder how much more punishment Mark Hunt can take following last night's atrocity.
Hunt is a true legend in this sport, and his career resurgence has been nothing short of remarkable, but I absolutely do not ever want to see him take another beating like that.
If the "Super Samoan" returns, he needs to be facing lower-end competition. Period.
It definitely is not easy to swallow your first professional MMA loss, and Jake Matthews' submission loss to James Vick is going to sting for quite a bit.
At only 20-years old, "The Celtic Kid" had the opportunity of a lifetime to kick off a UFC main card in his home country, but instead of basking in the glory of victory, Matthews tasted defeat in the most bitter of ways.
After a strong first four minutes that was highlighted by a big left hook and slam, Matthews ran into some trouble following an eye poke from "The Texecutioner." On the restart, Vick began unloading with his combinations, and latched on to a deep guillotine that forced the Australian to tap with only seconds left in the round.
Ultimately, the loss will only move Matthews a few rungs down the division ladder, and he will have the opportunity to bounce back in a major way his next time out.
There is still a very bright future for "The Celtic Kid" inside the Octagon.
What a tough way to lose a fight.
Kailin Curran was putting an absolute beatdown on 36-year old Alex Chambers, completely outclassing the Australian on the feet with pressure and high volume combinations. Chambers had her singular moments early, but once Curran got off, it was the Hawaiian's show for the next 10 minutes or so.
As the fight moved on, it was clear that Kailin was gaining confidence while Chambers was breaking in front of her home crowd. The finish for Curran seemed inevatible, and most expected this would be the last time we would see Chambers inside the Octagon.
In a stunning turn of events, Chambers pulled off the hail mary armbar in the third round to pick up her first UFC victory, dropping Curran to 0-2 inside the Octagon.
Considering how strong Kailin looked prior to the submission, I would expect UFC brass to give her one more opportunity in the big show.
Hopefully next time she finishes the job.
That's a wrap!
For complete results from UFC Fight Night 65: "Miocic vs. Hunt," including play-by-play updates, click here.