HYDEN BLOG: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from UFC Fight Night 85 “Hunt vs. Mir”

By Frank Hyden, MMATorch Contributor

Mark Hunt vs. Frank Mir (photo credit Matt Roberts @ USA Today Sports)

UFC Fight Night 85 took place last weekend from Australia. Let’s get right to it.MMAcolumnist-HydenFrank_300x250

UFC Fight Night 85

BAD/GOOD: Bec Rawlings vs. Seohee Ham

This was a solid enough fight, but I just wasn’t feeling it. It never got out of first gear. Rawlings won the decision. The GOOD is for the effort. It wasn’t great, but they were trying.

GOOD: Steve Bosse stops James Te Huna

Bosse dropped Te Huna less than a minute in, and the ref stepped in for the stoppage win. Big win for Bosse, but Te Huna might want to consider retirement. He’s suffered some bad losses lately and it might be time to think about his longterm health.

GOOD: Daniel Kelly stops Antonio Carlos Junior

Carlos Junior won the first round, but then Kelly came back in the second and really turned it on in the third round. He got Carlos Junior down and just started unloading on him to force the ref stoppage. This was a good win for Kelly.

GOOD: Jake Matthews submits Johnny Case

This was an extremely close fight in which Case likely took the first two rounds. It’s hard to say for sure, but I’m thinking the judges would probably give it to him up until that point. Both fighters were doing an excellent job as they battled back and forth. Then, late in the third round, Matthews got Case in a clinch and worked for the rear-naked choke. He got it and Case was forced to tap with about fifteen seconds left. Huge win for Matthews, but also a good showing from Case. This is one of those fights where both fighters come out looking better than they did going in. Matthews is only 21 and wins like this make you wonder how much better he’s going to get. He’s got a lot of potential and I’m excited to see his next fight.

GOOD: Neil Magny stops Hector Lombard

The fight should have been stopped in the second round, as Magny was dropping a ton of unanswered punches on Lombard. I’ll get to that in a second. Anyhow, the referee allowed the fight to continue and Magny ended up getting the finish in the third round. This is a big win for Magny, and a big loss for Lombard. He was close to finishing the fight himself in the first round, but Magny was able to survive. Then he came back like a beast and completely plastered Lombard in the second round. Magny’s output of significant ground strikes was unbelievable. He really showed something in coming back and getting the finish here.

UGLY: Referee Steve Perceval’s inaction

Being a ref is a hard job, no matter the sport. Sometimes you miss things. You’re expected to be perfect, though no one ever is; however, there’s a big difference between making a simple mistake and literally putting someone in harm’s way. In the second round, Magny was on top of Lombard and was raining down punches that were going unanswered. Many of these were hard shots. I don’t know the exact number, but it was around forty straight shots. Forty shots. 40. Unanswered. Magny even looked at the ref during this, asking for the stoppage. How Perceval didn’t stop the fight is beyond me. It was over, it was done. Perceval failed at his job. He’s supposed to protect the fighters.

Lombard’s corner deserves blame as well. Lombard was shot, he was done. Throw the towel in and concede. Better to do that than allow him to take repeated shots to the head. They failed their job. Injuries are going to happen in a sport like this, all you can do is try to minimize them. The exact opposite happened here. MMA is dangerous enough without referees and corners allowing a sustained beatdown to happen.

GOOD: Mark Hunt stops Frank Mir

The first few minutes were lacking action, but then Hunt caught Mir with a right hand and it was over. Mir fell onto his back and Hunt walked off, looking down at Mir, and shaking his head to signify that it was over. And it was. Mir had been caught. Hunt knew that he had caught Mir on the ear and turned out the lights.

It was a glorious moment, the type you see in the movies. Hunt has done this before, but that doesn’t make it any less great. After this win, there are a lot of different ways Hunt can go. There are rematches with Junior Dos Santos, Stipe Miocic, Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem, or Josh Barnett. Those guys have fights lined up, but who knows what could happen? I imagine Hunt would need at least one more big win to get a title shot, even in the wide-open heavyweight division. Hunt has already called for rematches with the names above, so we’ll have to see what shakes loose in terms of his next matchup.

I’m a Hunt fan so I’m definitely interested in who he fights next. I’d love to see him get a title shot, but there are so many moving parts in the division it’s nearly impossible to predict if or when that could happen. The next few months should bring much needed clarity to the situation so Hunt fans (as well as Hunt himself) will just have to wait it out and see what happens. For now, we can just revel in another walk off knockout.

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

[Photo (c) Matt Roberts via USA Today Sports]

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