Trigger-happy heavyweights and budding middleweight contenders will wage war in the Octagon tonight (Sat., May 9, 2015) as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) packs the Adelaide Entertainment Centre in South Australia for UFC Fight Night 65 "Miocic vs. Hunt."
The evening's main course pits heavy-handed sluggers Stipe Miocic and Mark Hunt against each other in a battle to determine top-five positioning in the 265-pound division. Meanwhile, prior to the the headliner, scintillating middleweights go toe-to-toe in the co-main event when No. 14-ranked Brad Tavares meets kickboxer Robert Whittaker.
But that's not all.
Eight preliminary bouts get things started in the "land down under." Former top-10 featherweight Hatsu Hioki was the main attraction atop the Fight Pass-broadcasted "Prelims" card, but Australia's own Kyle Noke provided some thrills, taking home a close decision victory over former sparring partner Jonavin Webb.
If you missed any of tonight's UFC appetizers, grab a plate and check out the UFC Fight Night 65 "Prelims" recap below:
The Japanese grappling standout Hioki looked to right the ship after multiple down years when he took on "The Hangman" Hooker.
Hooker starts us off with an outside leg kick. Hioki lands an inside leg kick to get on the board. Hooker tags the Japanese veteran with a left hand. Hioki lands a hard body shot. A straight right stuns Hooker. Hioki continues to find his range with a left hand. He plants a body kick on Hooker. Hioki looking for a right hook-left cross combination. He lands a good combination of Hooker and then a takedown. Hioki transitions to full mount with 60 seconds left in round 1. Hooker makes an escape and the pair are back to their feet. He goes for a head kick. Hioki pushes forward, snags double underhooks, but is unable to land the takedown before the first round bell sounds.
Hioki is backed into the fence by a stalking Hooker. The latter goes for a head kick, but finds himself being taken down by his opponent. Hioki ends up in full mount again. Hooker is back to his feet quickly. The southpaw eats a left and throws the head kick. Hioki is finding a lot of success with the jab now. He lands a counter right hand. A body kick by Hioki stuns Hooker, who lands a monstrous head kick and some follow up punches to the face of Hioki to claim the second-round technical knockout victory.
Kyle Noke vs. Jonavin Webb
"KO" faced off with the undefeated jiu-jitsu ace Webb in a close tussle.
Webb utilizing lots of movement early, circling Noke. The 26-year-old is switching stances often. He avoids a head kick attempt from his Australian counterpart. Webb lands the counter left hand. He lands a solid spinning back kick to the body of Noke. A switch kick to the body of Webb finds the mark for Noke. Inside leg kick lands for Webb, who stunned Noke a moment ago; possibly a slip. Webb rumbles in for the takedown attempt, snatches it and attempts a foot lock attempt. The pair are up to their feet. Noke lands a good jab. Webb changes levels brilliantly on the aggressive Noke and secures his second takedown of the round. Noke works back to his feet, but Webb straddles him and takes his back. A wild display of jiu-jitsu by Webb sees the American attempt a calf slicer submission prior to the round 1 bell.
Noke connects on the leg kick attempt, but gets knocked down by a right hand from Webb. He is in half guard. Noke reverses a guard pass by Webb and settles into full guard, landing some heavy ground and pound in the process. Blood is coming from the face of Noke. The 35-year-old is battering Webb with left hands on the mat. Webb escapes and finds himself on top after a quick takedown. We're back to the feet with a minute left in round 2. Webb attempts a takedown, but it is stuffed. He lands a flush left hand to the face of Noke as the round concludes.
Webb is controlling the pace to being the final round. He is mixing up his strikes well. Noke answering with solid strikes -- a right hand and leg kick. A big right hand from Webb connects. Noke throws a front kick right down the middle. Noke is keeping Webb at a distance, nullifying his takedown attempts, but not landing much in the way of meaningful offense. A takedown attempt by Webb is stuffed by Noke, who trips the former down to the ground momentarily. Both fighters continue striking. Webb lands a straight left punch to cap off round 2. Noke wins via split-decision.
Team Quest's "Smile'n" Sam Alvey had every reason to smile following his blistering right-hand TKO win of the Australian Judo champion Kelly.
Alvey begins the fight by landing his patented left hand. A huge right hand plants Kelly, who eats another massive uppercut, before the referee waves the fight off in roughly 60 minutes, handing Alvey the technical knockout victory.
Two strawweight veterans clashed in a tilt that would give the victor their first career UFC win.
Rawlings comes out ready to brawl and is quickly taken down by Ellis. The 32-year-old Ellis passes Rawlings' guard and sits in half guard. Ellis searches for an armbar, but is unsuccessful and now finds Rawlings on top of her. The TUF 20 castmates are back to their feet momentarily, before Rawlings finds a takedown, landing in side control. The 26-year-old former Invicta competitor Rawlings attempts a rear-naked choke, but doesn't get it. She's pushing forward with punches. Some hard elbows and knees land for Rawlings in the clinch. Fearsome right body punches and shots to head. Ellis drops from a destructive knee and succumbs to a rear-naked choke by "Rowdy" Rawlings with 60 seconds left in the round.
Struggling middleweights aiming to climb the 185-pound ladder took to the Octagon in a bout that produced multiple knockdowns.
Scott looming forward with the left hand. He gets caught with a counter right hand from the New Zealand knockout artist, who begins to look for a takedown in the clinch. The 25-year-old Scott attempts to toss Andrews but is denied. Andrews finds the mark with an uppercut and drops Scott momentarily. The Brit is back to his feet and is battling for position in the clinch, chipping away at Andrews' knees. Scott is utilizing good dirty boxing, but eats a big right hand behind the ear. The 35-year-old Andrews locks up a guillotine choke and uses it to ride Scott to the ground. The MMA Lab/Dragon's Lair fighter is back up to his feet quickly and in the clinch. Good use of the muay-thai clinch from Scott and stats to land knees. A swarm of punches from Scott is thwarted by a late takedown from Andrews to put a cap on round 1.
Andrews lands a leg kick to being the second frame. Scott looking to establish the jab. The pair exchange jabs. Scott lands a left hand. Andrews rips a few punches to the body of Scott. He's finding a home for the outside leg kick. Scott is holding his left arm low to perhaps block incoming body shots from Andrews. Andrews misses on the big right hand. Scott narrowly misses on the uppercut, but his left hand is successful. The two are landing pretty consistently as we pass the midway point of the fight. The fight is stopped with two minutes left in round 2 for what might be an eye poke by Scott. Scott gets the takedown on an over-aggressive Andrews and lands in half guard. Not much action from Scott in top position. He snatches up the head of Andrews, after a scramble, and finishes the fight with a guillotine choke from full mount.
The 36-year-old Chambers battled the 24-year-old Curran in a matchup of 115 pounders searching for their first Octagon win.
Curran drops Chambers with a push kick. She bullies her into the clinch. "Astro Girl" avoids a takedown attempt. Nice level change from Chambers as she stifles the pressuring Hawaiian. Chambers lands a right hand on Curran as the latter gets back to her feet. Curran finds a takedown along the fence and settles into half guard. Curran landing some good ground and pound. We're back to striking. Curran finds a home for her right hand and lands a knee. She's working the leg kicks and left jab, but is beginning to get countered. The Reign MMA standout Curran has her back against the cage and is eventually taken down. The pair are back to their feet quickly. Curran is dotting her up with the left. She's landing at a rapid pace, stalking Chambers down as the first frame draws to a close.
Early leg kick for Curran, who paws with the jab. A few more leg kicks land. Huge body shot hits the mark for Curran. She's overwhelming Chambers with her volume. Chambers finds a home for the front kick, but is later pressured into the fence by Curran. They separate with just over three minutes left in the round. Curran is continuing her dominance on the feet. She's throwing the head kick now. Curran lands a takedown on the exhausted Chambers and unloads with some devastating shots against the cage. Chambers is standing now with 90 seconds left, but is being picked apart. Curran has her in the clinch with 45 seconds left. She catches a body kick by Chambers and throws her to the floor. Chambers threatens with an arm lock attempt, but it is futile. One round to go.
Chambers looking a bit more active to start the final frame. Curran pushing forward and lands a huge right hand. Endless combinations by Curran; left-right-right body kick. She ducks a left hand from Chambers and hits the double leg takedown. Chambers is searching for the kimura/armbar. She's trying to pry Curran's arm away from her body. Chambers reestablishes her position from the bottom and snatches victory from the jaws of defeat for the unforgettable, come-from-behind, armbar victory in round 3!
Ground specialists Grujic and O'Reilly battle in a thrilling back-and-forth affair.
O'Reilly gets us started with an inside leg kick attempt, followed by a knee to the body. He lands a quick trip but Grucic is backup to his feet in a flash. The 27-year-old instigates the clinch. The TUF: Nation teammates battle for position against the fence. Grujic lands a nice knee. He's really utilizing his size advantage over the former lightweight. O'Reilly lands his second takedown of the first round momentarily. "The Spartan" is up quickly again. O'Reilly lands a hard right hand in the clinch half way through the first frame. He records his third takedown of the fight and settles into full guard. He sneaks into half guard as he tries to stop Grujic from using the fence to get back to his feet. "Badger" aiming for a kimura. He slid into full mount briefly, but Grujic fights out of it and is back on his feet. The pair clinch for a few seconds before round 1 wraps up.
The 38-year-old Grujic stuns an aggressive O'Reilly with a left-right hand combination. Grujic is finding a home for the left hand and the two are back in the clinch. He's unloading on O'Reilly now, landing elbows in the clinch. It is all Grujic now. They separate half way through round 2. Grujic lands a kick to the face of O'Reilly. We're back in the clinch. An uppercut lands for Grujic. Both men unleashing heavy punches on each other. A right hand lands flush for O'Reilly with just over a minute left. Grujic finds the mark with a huge right head kick on a break in the clinch. The two go blow-for-blow in the final 30 seconds. Grujic notches a late takedown and nearly secures the rear-naked choke before round 2 comes to a close.
The Spartan charges forward and is winging lefts. Grujic bullying O'Reilly again up against the fence. A sharp knee lands for the Alliance MMA representative. He finds the double leg takedown, but O'Reilly negates it and has Grujic back against the fence. The duo exchange knees. Grujic now in control in the clinch with two minutes left in the fight. O'Reilly reverses a Grujic takedown attempt and lands in half guard. He begins to pepper him with small punches. Grujic looking to wall walk and does so successfully. O'Reilly trying to get the inside trip takedown. He secures one final takedown to take the unanimous-decision victory.
"The Turkish Delight" had himself an old-fashioned pow-wow with the muay-thai sensation Nguyen.
Nguyen lands a nice leg kick early and throws the jab. A left hand stuns Ozkilic as he comes in throwing a right. The South Dakota native is getting his timing down. The 26-year-old lands a hard body kick and a right, which drops Ozkilic. Nguyen is reversed, while attempting to settle into full guard, and Ozkilic is now on top. The 29-year-old is looking to posture up. Nguyen attempting to crawl towards the cage and get back to his feet. Ozkilic lands two beautiful knees to the chest of Nguyen as he wall walks back up. Nguyen scoring points with punches in bunches. He's tagging him with a couple of good right hands and is the aggressor. Nguyen eats a left hand, following a body kick attempt. Inside leg kick finds the mark for Nguyen. A body kick-left hand combination lands for Ozkilic, but it doesn't matter. Moments later he's dusted by the stand-up master Nguyen and is flattened by a left hand, then a right hook, giving the 125-pound prospect the 'W' right before the first round bell.
With the Fight Pass-televised "Prelims" portion of the UFC Fight Night 65 event in the books, you Maniacs can turn your attention to the main feast, which features the heavyweight slugfest we've been waiting patiently for, Stipe Miocic vs. Mark Hunt.
Follow along the main card action right here.