Auckland’s Hero Shuts Down the Prospect

UFC Fight Night: Lewis v HuntThe heavyweight division was in a bit of a funk over the last few years but that has begun to lift recently.

Stipe Miocic is clearing the logjam at the top of the division and looking like he could be the best heavyweight champion ever.

More importantly, Miocic is the head of a new age of fighters in a division that has been getting older without much hope for the future.

Heavyweights will usually always be older fighters because they tend to try to fight at lighter weights when younger or just tend to find their groove in the division at an older age.

Fighters in the division also tend not to lose too much of what they did best as quickly as other weight divisions.

Speed and athleticism tend to go quickly but power lasts a lot longer and when a more experienced fighter has the power and the knowledge of when and where to throw they can be dangerous for years past what most would consider the prime of an athlete.

Despite the tendency of the division to be older, the UFC’s heavyweights have been around for a very long time.

Many were around near the start of the UFC’s rise and there had never really been new prospects rising through the ranks.

Miocic was one of the first in a long time as he moved up and took over the division which had been stuck trying to find a great champion.

Fighters continued to win and lose the title quickly while some of the top fighters couldn’t seem to find their way to the octagon with multiple injuries hampering any progress.

Miocic has stabilised things to a degree as there are still some big challengers to fight before he can truly clear out the division but things are looking good for the future of the division in the UFC.

It is not only because of Miocic though as there are prospects coming up through the division looking to make their own mark and ring in a new era.

Really there are two of them that are working their way through the heavyweights and are right on the cusp of moving up in the competition.

Francis N’Gannou is the one with all kinds of hype behind him as he has put together a five-fight win streak with five straight finishes.

At only 30 years old he has already been given the hype reserved for the next champion but he has some work to do before he gets there.

Then there is 32-year-old Derrick Lewis who has made his own waves throughout the division, although has suffered a defeat.

He came in looking great but struggled in losses to Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan at the start of his time in the UFC.

After his last loss, he took on the rest of the division and put together a six-fight win streak, finishing all but one of those fights.

During that win streak, he has taken on some tougher fighters than N’Gannou, beating Gabriel Gonzaga, Roy Nelson and in his last fight earning a TKO over Travis Browne.

He still had those losses over his head though and as he headed into UFC Fight Night 110 as the headliner he had the chance to prove that he can step up in the biggest fights.

The challenge was big with some of the fighters he had beat but this time it was stepping into that high level of heavyweight talent.mma-sidebar.fw

Mark Hunt is one of the top heavyweights in the promotion and his devastating power has knocked out some of the biggest names at heavyweight.

He is one of the elder statesmen of the division at 43 years old and doesn’t have a lot of time left to make a true run.

A fight in front of his home country was a chance for him to get back into the title conversation and eliminate a rising threat in the division.

Both needed the win and depending on the way things went it was going to mark the continued rise of the prospects or a continuation of the rule of the elder statesmen.

Nobody expected this fight to go very long and that included the two fighters involved in the fight as they were clearly looking for the big punch to end the fight.

Neither were going all out but every time they threw something there was a bad intention behind it as they were looking to finish it early.

Hunt was gaining ground slowly though as he continued to push Lewis back to the cage and on more than one occasion looked like he could end it but never quite landed a big punch cleanly.

Then in the fourth round, the wear of the fight got to Lewis and Hunt capitalised forcing him against the fence and landed some big shots forcing the referee to end the fight.

Lewis took the loss and his rise through the heavyweight division was stopped at six wins ending his rising prospect status.

It might have also ended his career as he claimed that it was likely his last fight and if that is the case one of the top prospects in the division is gone.

Meanwhile, Hunt continues on as he approaches the end of his career and continues to add to his win total.

He might have enough to make one last run at the title but will need a few more wins to get back to the title.

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