UFC 144 Results: What We Learned from Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2012

Kongo and Hunt at the UFC 144 weigh-ins. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin, Sbnation.com
Kongo and Hunt at the UFC 144 weigh-ins. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin, Sbnation.com

Mark Hunt made big waves in the heavyweight division at UFC 144, knocking out Cheick Kongo in the first round.

It was a surprisingly one-sided fight, especially considering Kongo was the favorite going into it.

With both men being such excellent kickboxers, many believed Kongo's grappling skills would be the difference-maker. However, Kongo's grappling skills proved ineffective. He attempted just one takedown and it was easily stuffed by Hunt.

From there, Hunt was able to easily control the stand up, despite having an eight-inch reach disadvantage.

Eventually, Hunt was able to land some heavy leather, put Kongo down, and the referee stepped in to stop the fight.


What We'll Remember About This Fight

The left hand that Hunt landed about 40 seconds before the knockout.

At one point, Kongo charged forward and, seemingly without effort, Hunt avoided the assault and landed a clean left. The left hand knocked Kongo down and Hunt didn't even go in for the kill.

That moment showed just how much confidence Hunt has in his hands—a lot.


What we learned about Cheick Kongo

Kongo is still not an elite heavyweight.

Every time people start to talk about Kongo as a legitimate contender, he messes it up with a big loss. Tonight Kongo kept that trend going, losing a fight that would established him as deserving of a top-10 opponent.


What We Learned About Mark Hunt

This guy has some serious potential.

With a record of 8-7, it can be hard to take Mark Hunt seriously as a mixed martial artist, but tonight he showed some good defensive grappling and elite striking.

I don't think this guy is a title contender, but he definitely deserves to be in the UFC.


What's Next for Cheick Kongo

Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson or Brendan Schaub.


What's Next for Mark Hunt

Pat Barry, Stipe Miocic or Stefan Struve.


Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.