UFC Fight Night Auckland
June 10, 2017
Auckland, New Zealand from Spark Arena
Live on UFC Fight Pass (7:00 PM ET), and Fox Sports 1 (8:00 PM ET)
Welcome and thank you for joining us for our live coverage of UFC’s Fight Night event from Auckland. The main event sees Derrick Lewis attempt to move one step closer to a title shot when he faces Mark Hunt, who is looking to spoil UFC’s party in more ways than one. In the co-main, Daniel Kelly will try and surprise us once again when he takes on the hard-hitting but inconsistent Derek Brunson. Fighters’ most recent MMATorch.com staff rankings are included in the fight listings. Cole Henry is covering the prelims and Mike Hiscoe is with you for the main card.
Fight Pass Prelims
(1) Dong Hyun Kim vs. Thibault Gouti (Lightweight 155 lbs)
This fight was called off earlier today due to an illness suffered by Thibault Gouti.
(2) JJ Aldrich vs. Chan-Mi Jeon (Catchweight 118 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Tentative start. A lot of movement but not many shots are landing. Midway the first Aldrich lands a nice shot, and Jeon returns one of her own. Lots of circling with Jeon landing body kicks. Jeon drops Aldrich with a knee to the body, but Aldrich pops right back up. Jeon is really attacking the body, and Aldrich isn’t doing a whole lot about it. Aldrich lands a nice low kick but Jeon returns a shot as the round comes to a close. Good round to start the night. 10-9 Aldrich
ROUND TWO: Aldrich lands a nice right hand, and the crowd loves it. Aldrich is landing low kicks, and backing Jeon up with punches. Aldrich is turning up the volume. Jeon is returning shots but not having much luck with landing. Aldrich lands a headkick. Jeon isn’t out of the fight but she is losing most of these exchanges. She turns up the pace, she’s making Aldrich move, and throwing big shots. The round comes to a close. 10-9 Aldrich
ROUND THREE: Jeon is more aggressive, and landing. Aldrich is keeping up with her though. Jeon lands a nice body kick, and Aldrich returns one of her one. Aldrich lands a big right hand that may have stunned Jeon. Aldrich looks really good here. Jeon is aggressive, but Aldrich is consistently landing shots here. Aldrich lands a spinning heel kick, and Jeon seems to like it. Jeon lands two big hooks, but Aldrich lands a nice straight right. 10-9 Aldrich
Result: Aldrich by unanimous decision
Fox Sports 1 Prelims
(3) Kiichi Kunimoto vs. Zak Ottow (Welterweight 170 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Ottow lands a nice low kick to get the fight started. Ottow is controlling the center, as they exchange low kicks. Kunimoto locks on a clinch behind Ottows head, but Ottow is able to spin around and put Kunimoto against the fence, and then seperates. After a quick exchange, Kunimoto shoots, and they end up against the fence, with Kunimoto controlling the position. He’s trying to transition to the back, but cant quite make it, and they are fighting for position. 10-9 Ottow
ROUND TWO: Ottow lands a lazy Kunimoto low kick, and trips him against the cage. He follows it up with a head kick. Theyre both landing decent shots. Kunimoto catches a Ottow kick and gets a takedown. Kunimoto is landing punches from Ottows guard, and pushing him against the cage. Ottow isnt doing much, he seems to jsut be trying to tie up and hold on. Just as I say that he gets a sweep and now he’s on top. Kunimoto rolls over, and Ottow gets the back.
Result: Ottow by split decision
(4) John Moraga vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian (Flyweight 125 lbs)
ROUND ONE: I’m not sure how to describe Mokhtarians hairstyle, but i felt like i had to mention it. Anyway, onto the fight. Mokhtarian shoots for a takedown, but Moraga slaps on a guillotine on the way down. It looks pretty tight, but Mokhtarian powers out of it, and puts Moraga against the fence. Moraga is struggling to create any separation. Back in the center of the octagon, Moraga is landing shots. He gets Mohktarian down, and takes his back, slaps on a rear naked choke, but Mohktarian gets out. Moraga has top control, and is really having his way here. He attempts an armbar as the round comes to a close, and Mohktarian was likely saved by the bell here. 10-9 Moraga
ROUND TWO: Mokhtarian lands a nice leg kick that knocks Moraga down to his knees. They’re circling in the center, Mokhtarian is aggressive. Moraga lands a flying knee. Moraga staggers Mokhtarian with a shot, but doesn’t follow up. Moraga gets a takedown, and moves to side control. He traps the right arm, and takes the back as Mokhtarian tries to escape. Moraga attempts another arm bar as the round comes to a close, but he wasn’t able to find anything. Moraga is the clearly superior grappler through these first two rounds, and Mokhtarin really needs to make something happen here in the third if h wants to win. 10-9 Moraga
ROUND THREE: Moraga gets Mokhtarian down, and lands some stuff shots that seemed to affect his opponent. Moraga gets into a sort of crucifix position, and transitions to an arm bar, but Mokhtarian scrambles and Moraga is back on top. Mokhtarian isnt giving up, that’s for sure. Moraga locks on a head and arm, from the front, but lets go and takes the mount. Mokhtarin is clearly tired, he taking deep, gasping breathes. Moraga gets the back, and is landing some shots here. Mokhtarian is basically offering up his arm, but Moraga doesn’t take it, and instead drops a few more shots. He goes for an armbar, but again Mokhtarian escapes. 10-9 Moraga
Result: Moraga by unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 30-25)
(5) Luke Jumeau vs. Dominique Steele (Welterweight 170 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Lots of back and forth action to start the fight. The crowd is really high on Jumeau. Steele is definately in hostile territory. Steel takes the back standing, and drags Jumeau down to the ground. Jumeau quickly recovers guard. Close round. 10-9 Jumeau
ROUND TWO: Lots of cage fighting, with Steele mostly in control. Jumeau is landing counter shots though, and he is making Steele work. Steele is in control but not really doing much. 10-9 Jumeau
ROUND THREE: Steele quickly closes the distance and pushes Jumeau agains the fence. He pushes off, and Jumeau as landing some nice shots here. Steele attempts a crazy rolling kick, misses, and gets tagged for his troubles. Jumeau continues to land shots here, and the crowd loves it. Steele pushes Jumeau back towards the fence, and he’s really working for a takedown here, but Jumeau isnt giving anything up easily. Steele is looking to land shots here, but Jumeau is keeping him close. Jumeau turns away, and lands a few shots in the last few seconds of the fight. Steele shoots, and Jumeau sprawls, as the fight end. 10-9 Steele
Result: Jumeau by unanimous decision
(6) Damien Brown vs. Vinc Pichel (Lightweight 155 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Tentative start, but they get going and a few exchanges break out, with no clear winner. Big uppercut lander by Pichel. Brown is moving, but Pickel is landing, and he lands another big uppercut. Brown is down, a few more shots, and he’s out. Nice win for Vinc Pichel.
Result: Pichel by knockout at 3:37 of the first round
Fox Sports 1 Main Card
The main card broadcast opened with a video comparing UFC fighters to sword-fighting Transformers. That’s a new one. The unique broadcast team of John Gooden and Brian Stann are calling the action. Joe Martinez is the ring announcer. They talked about something called the “Midas Golden Touch StrikeZone.” I’m not sure what that means but they showed some clips of Lewis and Hunt knocking people out. It sounds like a rejected concept for an MLB broadcast.
New Zealand has accepted the new unified rules. So that means nothing will go wrong. Right? My Fight Pass feed of the show is a few minutes behind the TV broadcast so bear with us if you’re looking for up to the minute updates.
(7) Alexander Volkanovski vs. Mizuto Hirota (Featherweight 145 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Volkanovski went into this fight as a huge favorite. Volkanovski opened with an inside leg kick. Volkanovski missed a head kick and then rushed in for a clinch against the cage. He fought for a takedown but Hirota defended. Hirota broke free and as they were breaking, Volkanovski tagged him with a right hand. He followed up on the ground but didn’t get the finish. Back standing, Volkanovski scored a quick takedown, Hirota bounced back up but Volkanovski kept the pressure on, pressing him against the cage. Volkanovski landed a spinning elbow and broke out of the clinch. Hirota worked some punches and leg kicks from a distance but Volkanovski got back inside and took him down. Hirota missed a lot standing as the round ended. 10-9 Volkanovski.
ROUND TWO: Hirota’s corner told him to close the distance. Hirota rushed in early but didn’t land much. Volkanovski landed punches as he moved in for a clinch. He landed the spinning back elbow again out of the clinch and it rocked Hirota. Volkanovski scored another takedown. Hirota got back up but Volkanovski wouldn’t let him breathe. Volkanovski landed a nice right hand but then whiffed on the spinning elbow. They traded punches standing for a while with Volkanovski landing the cleaner shots. Hirota landed a nice combination. Volkanovski caught him with an overhand right and then took him down. He landed a few big shots on the ground before the horn. 10-9 Volkanovski, 20-18
ROUND THREE: Hirota came out aggressive as he needed a finish to get the win. Volkanovski was slower than the first round but locked Hirota up in a clinch. He landed the spinning elbow again. Hirota got a body lock and tried for a takedown but couldn’t get it. Volkanovski landed a big right and then rushed in for a takedown. He held him against the cage. He couldn’t get much done. Hirota went for anther takedown but nothing there as well. Volkanovski with a right hand followed by a leg kick. 10-9 Volkanovski, 30-27.
Result: Volkanovski by unanimous decision 30-27 x 3
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Nice, relentless attack from Volkanovski. He showed some good striking and takedown offense. He’ll need to work on keeping his opponent down after scoring the takedown. He asked for UFC to feed him the “bad boys” and to feed him the “50 G’s.”
(8) Tim Elliott (#9) vs. Ben Nguyen (Flyweight 125 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Nguyen with a left high kick right away. Elliott went for a takedown by Nguyen rolled through and took Elliott’s back. Nguyen worked for a choke as Elliott stood up. The choke was deep and Elliott tapped. A Huge and impressive win for Ben Nguyen. Outstanding.
Result: Nguyen by submission at :49 of the first round
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Ben Nguyen is one to watch at flyweight. For as long as flyweight remains to be a thing at least. Nguyen came out hot and didn’t allow Elliott to dictate the pace of the fight with his awkward movements and timing. Very impressive win for Nguyen and I’m looking forward to his next fight. What’s sad is that Nguyen wouldn’t call anyone out for his next fight because he wasn’t sure if there would be a flyweight division in the near future.
(9) Ion Cutelaba vs. Henrique da Silva (Light Heavyweight 205 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Cutelaba walked full across the cage and got in da Silva’s face during the ring introduction.s The referee had a smirk on his face afterward. Cutelaba came out swinging and dropped da Silva early. He followed up with punches on the ground and it was stopped just like that. It was a left hand on the ear at the end of a combo that put da Silva down.
Result: Cutelaba by knockout at :22 of the first round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: That was a truly dominant performance by Cutelaba who is a pretty scary dude. He put is money where is mouth is after getting in da Silva’s face before the fight. Even though light heavyweight is considered a weak division, there are a few guys making their way up the ranks that are making things interesting and Cutelaba is one of them.
(10) Dan Hooker vs. Ross Pearson (Lightweight 155 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Hooker got a massive ovation from his hometown when he came out. Hooker is much taller and longer and came down from welterweight for this fight. Pearson was comfortable to stay o the outside while looking for an opening to get inside. Hooker worked leg kicks and jabs from the outside. Pearson shot in for a single-leg but let it go. Pearson whiffed on some big punches. Leg kick from Pearson followed by a left that connected. Hooker with more leg kicks. Hooker went for the high kick but it was blocked. Pearson had trouble connected and rushed in for a clinch. He landed an uppercut and they broke. Outside leg kick from Pearson. Hooker responded with a kick of his own. Close round, I’ll give it to Hooker for the damage from the leg kicks.
ROUND TWO: Hooker stuck with the jab and mixed in some high kicks with the leg kicks. Pearson kept the pressure on but could not connect much early. Pearson landed two nice combos to counter Hooker’s jab. Hooker landed a big right but Pearson swarmed in and landed some counter shots. They traded straight punches. Hooker started to land more punches while mixing in leg kicks. Hooker then knocked Pearson flat out with a knee as Pearson was trying to close the distance. It was beautifully timed and sent Pearson’s mouthpiece flying. Great finish to a fun fight.
Result: Hooker by knockout at 3:02 of the second round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Hooker executed the game plan of using his reach advantage expertly. Pearson was aggressive but just couldn’t close the distance often enough to avoid the knockout. A nice win for the hometown guy. As for Pearson, he may be a candidate for a “fight for your job” fight on Dana White’s Contender Series that starts next month.
(11) Derek Brunson vs. Daniel Kelly (Middleweight 185 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Brunson was very cautious out of the gate. He threw a kick to the knee and looked to be targeting Kelly’s bad right knee. Out of nowhere, Brunson landed a big left hand that put Kelly face first to the mat. Brunson followed up but Kelly was well out. Bad, bad knockout. It was a double jab followed by a left cross that knocked him out.
Result: Brunson by knockout at 1:16 of the first round
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Big win for Brunson to get back on track after a couple of tough losses. It was a nasty knockout that’s hard to watch on a guy Dan Kelly’s age. Brunson was humble about the win. He called out Antonio Carlos Junior after the fight, calling him Antonio Silva.
(12) Derrick Lewis (#6) vs. Mark Hunt (#9) (Heavyweight 265 lbs)
ROUND ONE: Lots of feeling out for the first minute. Leg kick from Lewis. Hunt moved in with a punch and Lewis came back with two head kicks. A third head kick was blocked. Hunt checked a leg kick then came in with a big right hand. Both guys were looking for the knockout. Nice uppercut from Lewis. Hunt landed some shots after Lewis failed at a takedown attempt. A bit of a scramble near the cage but neither guy could land anything clean. Lewis landed a sharp jab. Hunt responded with a leg kick. Lewis missed a flying knee. 10-9 Hunt but close.
ROUND TWO: Lewis with a head kick right away. Lewis landed a big counter right to the back of Hunt’s head. Lewis with a couple of body kicks. Hunt with two short jabs then a big right hand. Hunt landed an outside leg kick. Hunt got poked in the eye. The fight will continue. Lewis snuck in a nice counter right as Hunt was loading up on his shots. Lewis with a flying knee. Hunt hurt Lewis with an elbow and Lewis retreated while Hunt walked him down. Lewis landed a big right uppercut. A couple more big rights from Lewis. Hunt hurt Lewis again with a left. Hunt started walking off because he thought the round was over. He got another big left in before the horn. 10-9 Hunt, 20-18.
ROUND THREE: Lewis ducked a punch, landed a knee to the body and some punches from close range. Lewis was swinging for the fences and Hunt was being more patient, picking his shots but loading up. Hunt jumped in with a left hand. Outside leg kick from Hunt. Another left from Hunt. Lewis missed a weak takedown attempt. Lewis put his hands on his hips and had his hands way down by his waist. Hunt walked him down and threw a body shot. Lewis still tried to counter but looked tired. Another body shot from Hunt. Big right late by Hunt. 10-9 Hunt, 30-27.
ROUND FOUR: Little action early on outside of some leg kicks. Hunt then hurt him with a combination that got through. Lewis was tired and just walking away from Hunt. Lewis landed a nice left. Hunt landed a body shot. Lewis threw punches from a mile away that were nowhere close to connecting. Hunt landed two big shots that wobbled Lewis. Lewis landed a big knee but was so tired. He covered up against the cage and Hunt went in for the kill. Lewis wasn’t doing much to defend so the ref stopped it.
Result: Hunt by TKO at 3:51 of the fourth round.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: That was a very disappointing showing for Derrick Lewis who was on his way to a title shot until this fight. And just like that, Mark Hunt is back as a contender. That said, he’s trying to sue UFC right now so I don’t expect him to fight for the championship anytime soon. This fight shows how volatile heavyweight is and how truly anyone can win on any night in this division. Not a great fight, but a solid showing for Mark Hunt. Hunt said he’d fight anyone who is above him in the rankings.
Lewis said that he had a nagging injury affect him during the fight and this was probably going to be his last fight. He said he’s getting married next week and that he didn’t want to put his family through this.
That was one of the best shows in UFC history – until the main event. Both guys, particularly Lewis were slow and tired and it wasn’t quite the barnburner we were all hoping for.