Mark Hunt scored a very surprising third round TKO win in the UFC’s heavyweight division over Stefan Struve at UFC on Fuel TV 8 Saturday, in essence wiping away a six-fight losing streak prior to entering the Octagon.
Hunt was simply too powerful for the young Dutchman, and it showed in spades. The bout left many stunned watching the match expecting an easy Struve win.
The stocky Hunt, who is a foot shorter than the 7-foot Struve, kept an up-tempo pace throughout the match. Both standing and on the ground, the battle was continuous and momentous until referee Herb Dean interceded at 1:44 of Round 3.
Every time the pair were on their feet Hunt landed heavy blows to the head and body, but once it hit the mat Struve dominated before (uncharacteristically) giving Hunt easy escapes. By the third both were battered and bruised, and Struve had stood directly in front of a colossal left hook that broke his jaw. It was only a matter of time before his defeat at that point.
Hunt and Struve participated in what can only be described as an ugly brawl. From Hunt willingly giving up dominant position to Struve going for an armless armbar, it was a titillating back and forth fight. Hunt stole a chance at heavyweight title contention from Struve, who was nearing the top of the ranks. But, I would rather see him continue to have entertaining scraps with mid-level heavyweights.
Struve will need to modify his game, or he will eventually get pink-slipped by the UFC. Anytime he faces a fighter who is a power striker does not take it to the ground immediately, he takes a big whooping.
While he is still is young, he is not evolving as an MMA fighter and that should be a major concern to his camp.