UFC 160 certainly didn’t give any of the fans who laid down their $54.95 buyer’s remorse on Saturday night. It gave them great action and huge anticipation for the future matchups that await once the dust settles from tonight's throwdown.
There were bloody battles, two split-decisions and four straight finishes to end the night. Also on the docket: TJ Grant earning a shot at Benson Henderson’s lightweight title, and fellow 155’er Khabib Nurmagomedov setting the single-fight takedown record in his win over Abel Trujillo.
The fight that stole the show you ask?
No question it was the “Fight of the Night” between Junior dos Santos and Mark Hunt; a fantastic fan-friendly heavyweight battle that made its way into the third round before dos Santos ended Hunt’s night by knockout.
Hunt had absolutely nothing to lose in this fight after filling in for an injured Alistair Overeem. dos Santos on the other hand, was facing a must-win if he wanted another crack at the UFC heavyweight title.
Hunt was able to land some solid left hooks early, opening a small cut on the inside of dos Santo’s eyebrow. The No. 1-ranked heavyweight landed a few shots of his own before connecting on an overhand right that rocked Hunt sending him face first to the canvas.
That was the same punch that he landed on Cain Velasquez to win the title on the first-ever UFC on FOX card; a punch that would’ve put most fighters to sleep.
To an astonished crowd, along with commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg, Hunt—known for his granite chin—was able to get back up to his feet and survived a brief flurry by dos Santos.
Hunt appeared visibly tired in the final round and his punches were often off the mark. It looked like dos Santos was heading to a decision victory until he connected on a vicious left hook that sent Hunt on his heels.
dos Santos then shocked everyone inside the MGM Grand Arena by clipping Hunt on the head with a spinning wheel kick that knocked him flat on his back. He followed up with one more right hand on the ground for good measure before referee Steve Mazzagatti called a halt to the action at 4:18 of the third round.
Credit must be given to dos Santos for turning it up towards the end of the fight. He put a stamp on his victory and lined himself up to face Velasquez to compete their trilogy of title fights.
Hunt’s four-fight win streak comes to an end, and who he may face next is anybody’s guess.
This fight had such a level of tension and excitement, it made you almost forget the main event was still to come.
dos Santos and Hunt clearly deserve their $50,000 bonuses. They stole the show.