UFC 135: Mark Hunt Beats Ben Rothwell

Mark Hunt def. Ben Rothwell at UFC 135.In a sloppy, messy heavyweight brawl, Mark Hunt won his second consecutive UFC fight by taking a unanimous decision over Ben Rothwell at UFC 135.

When Hunt signed with the UFC last year, most people thought it was ridiculous: Hunt was old, out of shape, past his prime and sporting a losing record in his MMA career. But after losing his first UFC fight in 2010, Hunt has now won twice in 2011. His victory over Rothwell, which was dominant if not pretty, was scored 30-27, 29-27 and 29-28 by the three judges.

Hunt, who was a successful kickboxer for many years, has a well-earned reputation in MMA circles as a threat to knock anyone out standing up but a total fish out of water on the ground. So it was no surprise that Rothwell repeatedly went for takedowns, and after a couple minutes of the first round he succeeded and got on top of Hunt, in full mount. The surprise was that Hunt actually managed to get free and get back to his feet, and for the rest of the round was quite competitive with Rothwell, hurting him with strikes and opening a cut over his right eye.

In the second round Hunt surprised Rothwell with a trip-takedown and got on top and battered away at him, absolutely controlling him on the ground. And in an absolute shock at the end of the second round, Hunt actually attempted an arm bar. It was a shocking display for fans who have seen Hunt through the years and never seen him do much of anything on the ground.

By the third round Rothwell had been so badly battered and was so tired that he looked like a zombie in the cage. "I don't think I've ever seen a guy this tired in the Octagon before," UFC announcer Joe Rogan said of Rothwell in the third. Hunt didn't have much energy, either, but he had more than Rothwell, and as the fight ended it was Hunt who was in control.

Hunt now has a career MMA record of 7-7. Rothwell drops to 31-8.

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