UFC 221: Rockhold vs. Romero took place Feb. 10 at the Perth Arena in Perth, Australia. Heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt (13–12-1, 1 NC) took on up-and-comer Curtis Blaydes (9-1, 1 NC) in the night’s co-main event, which aired live on pay-per-view. Catch the video highlights below.
For more on Blaydes vs. Hunt, check out the play-by-play courtesy of MMA Fighting’s Alexander K. Lee.
Round 1: John Sharp the referee for this bout. Blaydes with the 1-2, then a jab, Hunt staying out of range. Kick to the body by Blaydes. They trade low kicks. Hunt circling, using lots of feints to try and find something. They both swing big, but miss. Inside leg kick by Blaydes. Hunt not throwing much. He nearly scores over the top with a right hand. Blaydes goes for a takedown and gets it against the cage, Hunt back up almost immediately. Looping right by Blaydes misses. Hunt with the counter right and Blaydes is clearly hurt. Another over hand right, then two more rights by Hunt. Blaydes drops to his knees. Desperation takedown saves Blaydes from further damage. Hunt works them over to the cage, Blaydes managing to land some ground and pound. Hunt stands up, but Blaydes uses the body lock to drag Hunt down again. Blaydes scoring from half-guard. Blaydes advances into full mount and lands a few punches before Hunt gives up his back. Tough round to score as Blaydes had the greater output, but Hunt landed the most damaging shots.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Blaydes.
Round 2: Blaydes goes to grapple right away. Hunt pummeling to defend, he circles out and lands a short right. Blaydes looks like he’s exclusively searching for the takedown now. Hunt headhunting with punches, doesn’t land this time. Blaydes with a jab, then a 1-2. Both fighters hesitant to engage, Blaydes wary of the power, Hunt not wanting to be taken down. Leg kick by Blaydes. Jab connects, Hunt tries to counter with a left hook, but Blaydes times a takedown and gets Hunt onto his back. Blaydes in half guard. Short elbow from the top. Blaydes content to hold top position and fire elbows to the body. Not really making any attempt to advance. Crowd getting restless, but Hunt is staying busy. He can’t shake Blaydes. Blaydes ends the period in side control.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Blaydes. Overall 20-18, Blaydes.
Round 3: Blaydes immediately shoots for a double leg and he gets the takedown. Hunt powers up, but Blaydes has the body lock and he slams Hunt down hard, falling right into side control. Full mount now for Blaydes. He stays patient with his ground and pound, not wanting to give Hunt the slightest chance to slip out. Americana attempt by Blaydes, but he gives it up quickly. Back to half guard now, Blaydes able to land about half a dozen elbows from that position. Hunt rolls onto his knees, but Blaydes is glued to him and he racks up the points with left hands. Hunt back up to his feet and Blaydes whips him down once more. Hunt again back up to his feet, he manages to break the grip momentarily, but Blaydes with a hold on Hunt’s wrist that allows him to succeed with another takedown. Elbows from side control. Hunt finds a way to spin and get back up with a minute to go. Blaydes takes him right back down. More punches from Blaydes as Hunt tries to stand. He does so, which leads to another Blaydes slam. He ends the fight punching Hunt from mount.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9, Blaydes. Overall 30-27, Blaydes.
UFC 221 results: Curtis Blaydes def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)