The Busy Season begins in Adelaide (UFC Fight Night 65 Review)

ufc_fn65The UFC kicked off the busiest times of the year for the promotion 19 fights in the next four months, some weeks will have multiple fights.

It is a time when the UFC chooses to highlight their fighters as the majority of the roster will be in action at some point.

There are the typical pay-per-views that will feature the best fighters in the world facing off for belts or bragging rights.

There will also be the Fight Pass exclusive fights where Fight Pass members get to wake up at ungodly hours to see great fighters in places halfway across the world.

There are also the UFC on Fox shows where the UFC gets to highlight some top fighters on a major network for everyone to see.

Then there are the Fight Night events that feature fighters that an average UFC fan might not recognize and fights with no belts attached.

These fight night events may not be the most enticing for many fans but the fact is they are a necessary part of the structure of the UFC.

These fights may not feature the most famous fighters in the UFC but they are rarely terrible cards with all boring fights.

These Fight Night cards are a way for the UFC to travel throughout the world without putting a pay-per-view on in every country.

They get to travel to their fans in different countries where they can feature fighters from that country to build some fan support.

They also serve a vitally important role in the organization of the rankings as fighters need to fight to earn a spot at the table and what better place than at Fight Night.

They may not have names like Velasquez, Lawlor, or Weidman but at one point all of those fighters were featured in a fight night.

These champions had to take a path to where they are now and it wasn’t as simple as winning one impressive fight and demanding a title fight.

They had to work their way through the fight nights to earn the respect and excitement that puts them in the title conversation.

These fight nights are the path that fighters must take to earn their spot among the rest of the champions in the UFC.

Some fighters never had to take that path as they were crowned coming into the promotion but when a fighter needs to make a run they must go through Fight Night.

That was the case when the UFC returned to Australia and featured two heavyweights that were trying to take the Fight Night path to the championship.

Both Stipe Miocic and Mark Hunt had taken this path before as the two heavyweights had already been on plenty of free fight cards.

They have also seen their fair share of pay-per-views as this path to the championship has been rocky for both fighters.

Hunt came the closest when he took a short notice fight against Fabricio Werdum for the interim heavyweight championship.

Hunt lost the fight and remained a top contender, just missing his shot to earn a belt and a fight against Cain Velasquez to unify the belt.

Now he enters another Fight Night looking to use this main event as a springboard to the title shot that he was so close to earning.

Miocic has had plenty of runs at the title but never seemed to be able to get that last step losing only two fights in the UFC, both to top contenders.

Now he enters the fight night run as a way to get to the top of the division and earn his own title fight.

Although these fighters are not household names to the average fan they create a very good matchup that is the definition of what Fight Nights are about.

They may not feature the guys that are the fan favourites around the world but they do feature fighters that make great matchups when you look at how they fight.mma-sidebar.fw

In this case the UFC gave Hunt the opportunity to fight close at home and fight someone who matches up with how he wants to fight.

Miocic and Hunt are strikers and are very good at that aspect of the fight with both fighters having a good chin and great power.

Although Miocic comes from a wrestling background he has turned into a great boxing fighter while Hunt loves to swing wildly and has countless huge knockouts to his name.

It is a match-up that at first glance may not be the fight that everyone wants to watch but those that miss it are sure to hate themselves for not watching.

That is fight night in a nutshell and for Hunt and Miocic if fight night is a way to get back to the title conversation they will gladly take the fight and give the fans what they were looking for in Adelaide.

The fight itself started out like many thought it was going to as both fighters stood and traded some major shots.

As they continued to try to find their range Miocic looked to use his wrestling and take the fight to the ground.

It was easier said than done though as Hunt came up immediately while they continued to exchange on the feet.

As the fight moved on Hunt continued his wild striking trying to land the big shot while Miocic continued his great boxing.

Both landed plenty of shots on the feet but Miocic wanted the fight on the ground where he could use his ground and pound to beat up on Hunt.

The plan worked as the third round saw Miocic almost end the fight while unloading from the top position and almost closing Hunt’s eye.

The strategy continued into the final rounds as Miocic took advantage of a very tired Hunt to earn takedowns and use his ground and pound to punish Hunt.

Eventually the punishment was just too much as Hunt had little to answer the ground and pound and the referee was forced to stop the fight.

It was a disappointing loss for Hunt but one that continued his legend as one of the toughest fighters in the division.

He never gave in and continued to fight despite the dominance of Miocic and will now have to look to make another run to the title at 41 years old.

On the other side, Miocic had a dominant win over a veteran in the sport and looks to be close to a title shot.

With that dominance he could be the next title contender in the division after Velasquez and Werdum face off.

That is what the Fight Nights are all about as the heavyweight division took on a different look after this fight giving one fighter the chance to take the title.

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