No one expected Mark Hunt and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva to go the distance, but at UFC Fight Night 33, the towering heavyweights exchanged haymaker after haymaker in a bout that could go down as the greatest heavyweight fight in UFC history.
The main event on Friday night’s UFC Fight Night card was scheduled to be Hunt’s homecoming, but there were no favorites by the time the fourth round rolled around.
Thousands of screaming fans stood on their feet at Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia cheering on both fighters in a heavyweight slugfest for the ages. The entire Octagon was reminiscent of a CSI crime scene by the time the final bell sounded.
Before the judges rendered their verdict, the MMA community had already made up its mind that there were no losers in this bout.
It didn’t matter if Hunt or Silva won. Both men could hold their heads high after this fight knowing they had succeeded in delivering something special, something that will be remembered for years to come.
Apparently, the judges saw the fight the same way. One solo judge scored the fight 48-47 for Hunt, and the other two had it 47-47 for a majority draw. After the fight, Twitter exploded with excited reactions to a bout that is a surefire candidate for “Fight of the Year.”
It certainly won’t be remembered as the most technical fight, but at the same time, it’s rare that MMA fans get to witness the pure nature of fighting.
Hunt vs. Silva wasn’t about a chess match or outscoring an opponent. It was a true battle of the same will and determination that helped build the foundation of the spectacle we know as combat sports.
We can all look back one day and be thankful to have been alive to witness it.