Talk about a statement.
Stipe Miocic absolutely brutalized the legendary Mark Hunt in enemy territory in the main event of UFC Fight Night 65 this past Saturday night (May 9, 2015) live on UFC Fight Pass from the Adelaide Entertainment Center in Adelaide, Australia.
And you can bet UFC brass is happy the beatdown wasn't on FOX.
Reminding fans just how barbaric and visceral this sport can be, Miocic mercilessly pounded on on the former K-1 champion for four and a half rounds (highlights here). The fight could hardly be dubbed "competitive," as Hunt was merely a tired punching bag from the third minute on.
In a historic offensive onslaught, Miocic landed 361 strikes on the hapless "Super Samoan" -- the highest striking output in UFC history.
If you are wondering what 361 strikes does to a man, just take a look at Mark Hunt's mangled mug right here.
With the victory, Miocic shrugged off his decision loss to Junior Dos Santos back in December, and re-established himself as a legitimate title contender in the heavyweight division.
While I would like to see Miocic face the winner of the UFC 188 title fight between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum, there is a strong possibility the Cleveland native will have to fight at least once more before getting a shot at UFC gold.
With a bevy of ranked heavyweight battles coming up over the next several weeks, UFC brass will have to wait and see how each consecutive fight plays out before making any hasty decisions.
Top-10 heavyweights Travis Browne and Andrei Arlovski are set to collide in just under two weeks at UFC 187, and that very well could be a No. 1 contender bout if the winner impresses on fight night.
Another important bout to note is the UFC Fight Night 68 clash between Matt Mitrione and Ben Rothwell. While I don't expect either fighter to earn a title shot with a victory in Louisiana, the winner of this bout could very well take on Miocic if in fact he doesn't fight for the belt next.
Of course, we can't discuss top ranked heavyweights without mentioning the former champ in Dos Santos. With "Cigano" holding a victory -- albeit a very close one -- over Miocic, UFC brass may be inclined to give the Brazilian another crack at gold.
If Velasquez wins at UFC 188, you can go ahead and count out the former champ. In that case, fight fans would likely finally witness Alistair Overeem fight Dos Santos.
While this is all speculation, one thing is for sure: The landscape of the heavyweight division is about to change dramatically, and it should be a fun ride.
For complete results from UFC Fight Night 65: "Miocic vs. Hunt," including play-by-play updates, click here.