It figured to be a fun fight. It figured to be a slugfest while it lasted. But anyone who tells you that they were expecting an otherworldly 25-minute brawl is probably a liar.
In a 2013 already filled with exciting matchups which would run away with Fight of the Year in any other year, "Bigfoot" and Hunt put on a jaw-dropping display of heart and toughness Friday night in Brisbane, Australia. The fight was so evenly contested and back-and-forth that few complained when the judges handed out a majority draw. Two judges scored the fight 47-47, while another had it 48-47 for Hunt.
The first two rounds were a feeling-out process. Silva looked like he wasn't going to be goaded into a slugfest with the hard-hitting Hunt. He stayed out of Hunt's range for the most part, covered up when Hunt charged in, and picked his spots with his own strikes. Silva mixed up punches, body kicks, and postively brutal leg kicks.
Business picked up in round three. Defying all expectations, Hunt scored a takedown. Silva got up, but then Hunt landed a ferocious straight right hand right on the button and dropped Silva backwards. he followed up and landed a series of brutal elbows to the grounded fighter.
As exciting as round three was, though, it was merely an appetizer to an insane round four. In one of the most memorable five-minute sets you'll ever see, Silva turned up the heat, only to get caught with a counter and then taken down by Hunt after three attempts. When Silva got up, Hunt pursued him and landed standing elbows. But then Silva, somehow, found a second wind, landing a gigantic knee in the clinch. Silva followed up with blow after blow, but couldn't put away the ultra-tough Hunt.
The pair embraced before the start of round five, then got right back to their brutal business. Hunt continued to pick Silva apart in the standup and opened a huge cut. With Silva wobbling, referee Steve Perceval did Silva a favor and called a time-out to check the cut. The enabled Silva to regain his bearings. The doctor cleared him to continue. The fight continued, with both exhausted fighters throwing strikes right up until the final horn.
"To all the fans, to my team, thank you so much," said Hunt (9-8-1).
For his part, Silva said he suffered a back injury in training, but fought anyway.
"I'm so happy," said Silva (18-5-1) but a few weeks ago I injured my back, I don't say anything, I come here to fight and I do my best today.
Not long after the bout's conclusion, the UFC named the bout Fight of the Night.