Although it ended in a majority draw, nobody was disappointed. The heavyweight slugfest between Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva was a back-n-forth war that will go down in the history books.
At the end of the main event at UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane, Australia, both fighters raised their hands in victory. There were no losers. Instead, we got an instant candidate for fight of the year.
Judge Charlie Keech scored the contest for Hunt, 48-47. Judges Kon Paapaioannou and Barry Foley saw it 47-47.
“I’m so happy,” said Silva, after the fight. “Mark is a tough guy. I trained a lot for this fight.”
UFC president Dana White agreed with the scorecards, relieved it was a draw, as well. “I agree that I have NEVER been so happy with a draw in my life. I am happy it was a draw. Winner of that fight is US the fans!!!”
The five-round bout showed just how much heart each fighter has. When one seemed to be out on their feet, they rallied back… and vice versa.
Bigfoot Silva (18-5-1) used his size advantage early in the fight to keep Hunt (9-8-1) at bay, landing side kicks and circling away from his knockout power. In the first, the pair had a brief exchange, which resulted in a Hunt knock down, but he recovered quickly.
By the second, the fight appeared to be all but over, as Silva landed a number of leg kicks, which had Hunt limping. He’d switch to a southpaw stance to adjust… and survived.
In the third, the momentum shifted. Hunt landed a jab and straight right combination that knocked Silva down. He’d get the top position, but was gassed and unable to finish. Hunt took Silva down again early in the fourth, but couldn’t keep him there. After getting back to his feet, Silva walked through several hard elbows by Hunt to land a three-punch combination, staggering him. Hunt would fall onto his back where Silva would eventually open a deep cut on his forehead with an elbow from mount.
In the final round, Hunt won it on the scorecards, unloading two-punch combos and elbows.
In the co-main event, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (22-8) knocked out James Te Huna with a perfect counter left hook just 63 seconds into their light heavyweight fight, snapping the former champ’s two-fight losing streak … and proving his career is not over.