Kiwi heavyweight Mark Hunt has completed his homecoming in trademark style, finishing American Derrick Lewis in the fourth round of their main event bout at UFC Fight Auckland.
‘The Super Samoan’ looked in control from the outset, overcoming Lewis’ early barrage to dictate proceedings as he patiently stalked his prey, the inevitable finish ultimately coming late in the fourth round.
In the co-main event of the card it was American Derek Brunson who made short work of Australian Olympic veteran Dan Kelly, sending him to the mat in a heap with a vicious left hook just 80 seconds into the contest to claim an emphatic knock-out win.
Earlier in proceedings, Auckland’s own Dan ‘The Hangman’ Hooker set the Spark Arena alight with a spectacular finish in his lightweight bout against British veteran Ross Pearson.
After a clinical opening round, Hooker planted a knee flush to the jaw of his opponent which instantly switched his lights off, the referee forced to step in immediately to cause near delirium inside the venue.
“Stand up, Auckland!” screamed the 27-year-old in his post-fight interview to a rapturous, who may well be in line for a hefty bonus pay packet for knock-out of the night.
There was more Kiwi success on the preliminary portion of the card, Hamilton’s own Luke Jumeau repaid the faith of his legion of supporters with an impressive UFC debut, taking a well-earned unanimous decision win over American Dominque Steele.
Jumeau forced his way onto the card with a social media campaign which the UFC couldn’t ignore, and looked right at home in the octagon as he repelled his opponent’s repeated takedown attempts while consistently landing the heavier shots.
‘The Jedi’ dropped his opponent on a couple of occasions, and after an understandably nervous opening stanza, secured a comfortable win to kickstart his career on the big stage.
“I’m on a four-fight contract, but you never know. Now I’m here to stay,” said Jumeau post-fight.