After the UFC on FUEL 8 prelims began with a knockout, things got a little dependent on the judges. One fight after another went the distance, until suddenly, we were into the night's co-main event and searching for a finish. Leave it to the heavyweights to ensure that inglorious streak ends.
For two-and-a-half rounds, Mark Hunt and Stefan Struve battled, trading strikes on their feet and positions on the ground, but as fatigue set in, it became apparent that one of them wasn't going to make it to the final horn.
In the end, it was Struve. The 7-footer was knocked out by a running left hook on the chin that ended up as a walk-off knockout, as Hunt veered away as Struve crashed to the ground, his head landing on the fence.
The finish came at 1:44 of the third.
Struve certainly had his chances to win prior to that.
In the first, Struve mounted him twice, once going for an armbar that Hunt survived. In the second, Struve mounted again and rained down with punches near the end of the round, but Hunt was able to hold off.
Both men looked gassed walking out to begin the third, and stored up energy for single strikes. Both men landed monstrous shots in the early seconds of the round, but Hunt hurt Struve with a left hook that changed the momentum for good. Struve backed up, trying to reset, but Hunt connected a few seconds later with a right cross, then hit the fight-finisher.
Hunt (9-7) had been competing for the first time in nearly a year. He and Struve had originally been scheduled to fight at UFC 146 last May until an injury sidelined him. The win was his fourth straight.
Struve saw his own four-fight win streak snapped with the defeat, his first since May 2011. He's now 25-6. All four of his UFC defeats have come by way of knockout.
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