UFC Fight Night 110 took place Sunday morning in Auckland, New Zealand, and the card was a fun one that offered a large number of lesser-known fighters a chance to showcase their skills for the world. The card ended up having a lot of great performances but not necessarily a lot of great fights. Below are my top five takeaways from the event:
MARK HUNT SLAYED THE BLACK BEAST
Mark Hunt, at 43 years young, outlasted top prospect Derrick Lewis for a fourth-round TKO victory which was somehow awarded Fight of the Night status. Hunt and Lewis spent most of the fight simply trying to avoid being punched by the other rather than mounting much offense of their own. The fight was devoid of any discernible technique
as each fighter launched a couple haymakers then backpedaled for most of the first two rounds. In the third, Lewis took a couple of punches and started to look tired, so Hunt finally started moving forward more and controlling the cage. In the fourth, referee Mark Goddard called a stop to the fight with 1:19 left in the round. At the time, Lewis was still standing and covering up from a few punches thrown by Hunt, but there was no discernible damage being done. I guess Goddard figured that Lewis was completely gassed and stopped the fight to keep him from getting hurt. I felt like it was a really bad stoppage, but since Lewis didn’t argue it at all, I won’t. In the post-fight interview, Lewis referenced his upcoming nuptials and said that because he doesn’t like to put his family through everything that comes with fighting, this is “most likely” his last UFC fight. If he sticks to that, an already thin heavyweight division will lose one of its very few up and coming contenders. And Dana White wants to get rid of the flyweights?
Dana White wants to fold the flyweight division because it is not making enough money. If so, the reason is solely because of ignorant fans who fail to appreciate the level of talent in the division. In Auckland, Ben Nguyen showed us exactly what the flyweight division can bring to the table. He started the fight off with a barrage of strikes that ended with a landed head kick and then quickly proceeded to take Tim Elliot’s back and apply the rear naked choke for one of the most exciting victories of the night. John
Moraga, who hadn’t won since 2014, stepped into the cage against 13-1 Australian prospect Ashkan Mokhtarian and absolutely subjugated Mokhtarian to his will. Morgag didn’t manage to get the finish, but did win a lopsided decision in which he put on a clinic against the fan favorite from nearby Oz. Yes, Demetrious Johnson has dominated the division so completely as to remove all drama surrounding its title, but there are still a large number of amazing competitors in the division, and they all deserve a chance to compete at the highest level. The middleweight division didn’t get closed down because Anderson Silva was dominant; the welterweight division didn’t get shipped out just because GSP was nearly unbeatable. To do such to the flyweights would be a huge injustice.
DON’T COUNT OUT BRUNSON
Derek Brunson was knocked out by Robert Whittaker and then had a decision stolen from him and gift wrapped for Anderson Silva, but he showed in New Zealand why he should not be overlooked in an already crowded middleweight title picture. Derek
showed a newly-developed patience against Daniel Kelly, kept his 100% takedown defense statistic intact, and landed just one left hand to Kelly…and it was all he needed. Brunson employed a double jab about a minute into the first round that led Kelly to put is right hand out to create a little distance. As soon as he did, Brunson came over the top with a left hand that put Kelly to sleep in the middle of the Octagon. With his power and wrestling ability, Brunson will always be a force to be reckoned with. If he really has developed the patience to allow his openings to develop rather than rush into some less opportune situations, he has the ability to make a serioud challenge for the title in the most top-loaded division in the company.
THE HULK IS ANGRY
Ion “The Hulk” Cutelaba never smiled during introductions for his fight in Auckland.
He looked extremely intense and angry, and when he destroyed Luis Henrique da Silva 22 seconds into the fight, you could almost see the green showing through. Ion Cutelaba has had a couple of missteps of late, being choked out by Misha Cirkunov and losing a decision to Jarrod Cannonier in the last year, but he showed us how explosive and fearsome he can be when he stepped into the cage against da Silva. Don’t let those two recent losses fool you. If Cutelaba is focused and intense, he will be a tough out for anyone in the light heavyweight division and could become a force in the top ten. I’d like to see him against Glover Teixeira next to test his skills against a very above average gatekeeper in the division.
CHAN MI JEON IS GOING TO BE A STAR
The Korean teenager made her debut in the UFC this weekend on only two weeks’ notice. She missed weight by two pounds, likely a function of the short notice, and she simply got outboxed by her opponent, JJ Aldrich. However, despite enduring the first blemish to her professional record, Jeon showed why she is likely to become a breakout star in the strawweight division over the next few years. First, the girl is attractive, and, like it or
not, that is the first requirement to become the media darling the UFC wants in the women’s divisions. Second, she can fight. She ran into superior technique from a more seasoned fighter on this occasion, but Jeon showed heart and moxie, letting out a war cry to start the third that fired up the whole stadium in New Zealand. Obviously, she will need to fix the holes in her game and continue to develop, but Chan Mi Jeon has the potential to be the next Paige Van Zant. Hopefully, she will learn from PVZ’s mistakes and become a well-rounded fighter that also becomes a big celebrity rather than becoming a celebrity that also fights.
UFC Fight Night 110 Official Results
J.J. Aldrich defeats Chan Mi Jeon via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Zak Ottow defeats Kiichi Kunimoto via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29)
John Moraga defeats Ashkan Mokhtarian via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)
Luke Jumeau defeats Dominique Steele via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Vinc Pichel defeats Damien Brown via KO at 3:37 of Round 1
Alexander Volkanovski defeats Mizuto Hiroto via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Ben Nguyen defeats Tim Elliott via submission (RNC) at :49 of Round 1
Ion Cutelaba defeats Luis Henrique da Silva via TKO at :22 of Round 1
Daniel Hooker defeats Ross Pearson via KO at 3:02 of Round 2
Derek Brunson defeats Daniel Kelly via KO at 1:16 of Round 1
Mark Hunt defeats Derrick Lewis via TKO at 3:51 of Round 4
Mark Hunt vs. Derrick Lewis, Fight of the Night
Ben Nguyen, Performance of the Night
Daniel Hooker, Performance of the Night