A trip to Sweden can cure what ails you. Just ask Diego Nunes.
The UFC and Bellator featherweight veteran was in the throes of a three-fight losing streak that had sent him out of MMA's big leagues. But he didn't even need two full rounds of cage action Saturday to resurrect his pro career at Superior Challenge 11 in Sodertalje, Sweden, flattening respected veteran Joachim "Hellboy" Hansen with one highlight-reel haymaker.
Diego Nunes KO's Joachim Hansen at Superior Challenge. 9.7/10 faceplant. https://t.co/pBuJ1JS3FM— caposa (@GrabakaHitman) November 29, 2014
The titanic left hook could not have come at a better time for Nunes (19-6). The 31-year-old Brazilian dropped two consecutive bouts in the opening round of two consecutive Bellator featherweight tournaments. The first came in September 2013 to the formidable Patricio Freire, but the second one was far more damning, as he dropped a split decision to the unheralded Matt Bessette, who hasn't won since.
It was a pretty bad streak for a fighter who was once thought to hold real promise in the UFC's 145-pound division. But he lost two of three in 2012 and early 2013, sealing his release with a January 2013 loss to Nik Lentz.
But this huge knockout—and the ripples it is already making on the Web for its ferocity—should get Nunes' career trending again in a positive direction.
The future is less certain for Hansen, a 35-year-old Norway native who first fought professionally in 1999. He (23-13-1) is an accomplished kickboxer and submission grappler who has won MMA titles in the DREAM and Shooto promotions.
Always a fan favorite for his toughness and high-octane style, Hellboy has now dropped three of his last four. All three defeats were finishes, and his last two bouts both ended in knockout losses.