Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva: Who Really Won the UFC Fight of the Year?

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Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva: Who Really Won the UFC Fight of the Year?
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Two days after the fact, senses still numb from an onslaught of violence that felt extreme even to fans of this most extreme sport, UFC stalwarts are still celebrating the mesmerizing fight between Mark Hunt and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva. 

We expected, even hoped, to witness a spectacular knockout, the obvious outcome when two gargantuan heavyweights meet in the middle with the worst of intentions. Instead, it was a war of attrition, each man trading pieces of memory and long-term health for the slightest edge. The result was one of the most remarkable fights in UFC history, a battle if not quite beautiful, certainly breathtakingly brutal.

When 25 minutes were done, the audience nearly as emotionally spent as the fighters, the judges called the bout a draw. Something about that felt right. After all, it would have been a shame for either man to have given so much in pursuit of a win, only to fall painfully short. Neither gave a loser's effort. Both were stalwart, fighting to win until the very end.

Was it right to declare any man so heroic a loser?

But the result has lingered in the back of my mind since it was announced. Was a draw the right call? Let's look back at the fight, round by round, as these things are rightly judged under the unified rules, to find out. 

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