Top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight contenders Alistair Overeem (No. 3) and Mark Hunt (No. 8) kicked off UFC 209’s pay-per-view (PPV) main card tonight (March 4, 2016) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was actually a rematch nine years in the making as Overeem submitted Hunt with an Americana at DREAM 5’s Lightweight Grand Prix back in 2008.
Hunt opened the action with thundering low kicks as Overeem patiently circled and for an opening. So thundering, in fact, that his shin split open and was gushing blood after Overeem checked a kick. It didn’t seem to faze the kiwi, though, as he continued to fire it off. Overeemused front kicks to keep distance, but Hunt responded with a thudding kick to the Dutchman’s mid-section. Hunt dove in with a big right hand that skimmed Overeem’s chin, then he followed it up with a kick to the arm, as Overeem fired back with a punch-kick combination. As the round came to a close, Hunt chased Overeem along the fence and unloaded about three or four punches that didn’t seem to find a way through.
Overeem got the action going in the second round with another front kick as Hunt fired back with another power shot to the body. Overeem kept Hunt off balance with a spinning backfist as blood began to trickle from Hunt’s nose. Overeem mashed Hunt up against the fence and drilled him with knees to the body and then a bid one to his face. Overeem finally let Hunt off the hook as they went back to the center of the Octagon, which was a huge mistake as Hunt landed a monster uppercut. Overeem was stunned and Hunt began to pour on the pressure, but Overeem was able to get him pinned back up agains the cage where he could recover and unload more brutal knees. Hunt fired off a big shot, but Overeem absorbed it well and slammed another knee into Hunt’s belly. Hunt landed a huge shot in the clinch, an elbow to the side of the head, that wobbled Overeem as the round came to a close.
Overeem was looking to clinch early to start the third and final round as Hunt uncorked a shot that sent blood flying onto the nose of ringside announcer Joe Rogan. Overeem landed a clean right hand, but it didn’t even seem like Hunt felt it hit. Overeem was able to close distance and press Hunt against the cage where he landed a devastating knee to Hunt’s face that folded him like a lawn chair. Hunt slowly collapsed to the canvas in an unconscious heap as the referee jumped in to stop the fight.
Add another highlight finish to the sizzle reel of “Demolition Man,” who was able to sleep one of the toughest and most durable mixed martial arts (MMA) veterans in the sport.
For complete results from UFC 209: “Woodley vs. Thompson 2,” including play-by-play updates, click here and here.