New Life Found Down Under

ufc-fn85No matter what sport you follow concerns over health have been taking headlines more and more every year.

Brain damage in the NFL has already forced a number of stars to retire before they turned 30 and it seems a lot more players are taking that path.

The NFL and NHL are two of the most physical sports that anyone can play as hitting is not only legal but encouraged while in the NHL fighting is also legal.

As dangerous as these sports are there is nothing compared to combat sports where more often than not the goal is to hit someone directly in the head for anywhere from 15 minutes to over 30 minutes.

MMA is slightly different with the inclusion of the ground game and far fewer fights than games but it is still extremely dangerous.

That makes careers fairly short when you take into account that most fighters wait about three months in between fights.

It is one of the big reasons for the new free agency that is beginning to take hold throughout the MMA world as fighters look to get as much money as possible before fighting is no longer possible.

The potential of a short career makes it so much more impressive when fighters hovering around 40-years-old enter the octagon.

At that age, they are going through camps and big fights that only get harder every year that goes by as the damage and dedication it takes is impressive.

Being a fighter at that age also means a sense of urgency as every fight could be the last with injuries much more likely and the toll only getting worse.

Along with these factors, any MMA promotion is wary of letting older fighters continue to fight if they aren’t being effective.

If a fighter is around that 40-year-old mark they have to be making a real run at the title or close to making a run at the title if they want to stay fighting.

That is the situation that both 41-year-old Mark Hunt and 36-year-old Frank Mir found themselves in at UFC Fight Night 85.

Both came into the fight with great careers behind them and despite a few losses recently their performances have kept them in the top ten in the heavyweight division.

This main event though seemed to be a different fight for both of them as they have not been as consistent as they used to be.

Hunt came into this main event after losing two of his last three fights including an interim title fight against Fabricio Werdum.

Mir had only won two of his last seven fights including a string of four straight losses from 2012 to 2014.

Both have put on great fights in the past and are always big draws but eventually, a fighter simply can’t do it anymore.

They were dangerously close to that moment where someone at the UFC had to sit down and talk to them about their future.

This fight was not necessarily a fight where the loser needed to retire but for the loser, it was going to be a large step towards that decision.

The winner would move on to enter the conversation around the stalled heavyweight title while the loser was going to be forgotten, at least for the time being.

They still had the chance to make another run but at this point in their careers, every loss got them that much closer to the UFC not wanting to see them in any more wars.

So Mir and Hunt went at it in a fight that meant a lot more than just a win or loss as they were essentially fighting to extend their

The fight was going to be a classic match-up, not a classic heavyweight match-up but classic nonetheless.

Mir was going to try to put the fight on the ground and use his great BJJ to submit Hunt while Hunt was going to try to land that massive right and end the fight with one punch.

At the start of the fight, it was clear that both had their ideas of how the fight needed to go with Mir attempting to stay out of the range of Hunt while looking for a chance to shoot.

As Mir stalked Hunt looking for his chance Hunt was getting off shots but not quite landing that shot that he is so known for.

That didn’t last long though as eventually Mir looked to throw something to get active and he was met with a big right hand from Hunt that landed right behind Mir’s ear.

The fight was over as Hunt did his signature walk-off to take the win in front of his home crowd.

The loss for Mir is not a good sign as he continues to struggle to remain consistent and make a real run at the title.

Although Mir will likely not retire right now he is sure heading that way as he definitely nearing the end of his hall of fame career.

For Hunt, it is new life as his title hopes are alive and with another big win, he could be in line for a title fight as the heavyweight title picture is murky but should clear up within the next few months.

Both fighters came into the fight looking at their careers in a very serious way and now with the fight over each fighter leaves Australia with a different perspective than before.



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