Photo by Tracy Lee for Y! Sports
The two fighters came out throwing leather but neither fighter was able to really find range early on. Hunt was the first to really land with a hook-uppercut. Rothwell pressed forward but was leaving himself open. He ducked under and got a quick takedown and immediately stepped over to mount. Hunt tried to work an under hook to regain his feet and after some time on the ground was able to shrimp out and stand up. Rothwell tried another shot but was stuffed and then pushed aside. He tried a double and then a single but couldn't complete the takedowns. Hunt landed several unanswered strikes. Rothwell responded with a shot but was pushed to the ground and and Hunt landed several punches from the top. During this he opened up a cut over Ben Rothwell's eye. Rothwell stood up and then got the fight to the ground to close the round. It was an extremely active round for two big heavyweights.
Hunt was breathing heavily as the round opened taking huge gasps for air. He connected on several punches on a far less mobile Ben Rothwell. Leg kicks landed for Mark Hunt and both hurt Big Ben. Ben attempted a takedown but couldn't complete it. Hunt landed a combo and then finished it with an inside leg trip from a body lock to get the fight to the ground. Big elbows from the top landed for Mark Hunt. Rothwell's face was a bleeding mess after the elbows. Hunt stood and then walked over to side control, landing elbows in the process. Mark Hunt began to put on a grappling clinic transitioning from knee on belly to full mount. Hunt stepped over and looked to finish the fight with an armbar. Rothwell survived but he was exhausted and almost broken.
Ben opened up the round aggressive but was uppercutted for his troubles. Hunt landed several punches from the single collar clinch. He got another inside trip and ended in guard. The referee stood them up and both fighters were exhausted. Rothwell looked like a zombie when attempting several takedowns. Hunt landed a massive right hand and walked away thinking that was the end of the fight. Rothwell remained standing and Hunt had a look of shock. Mark Hunt with another grappling clinic from side control. Big hammer fists land for hunt. The referee stood them up and Hunt landed a massive uppercut. Hunt threw a head kick and then attempted a takedown. Rothwell sprawled out and just couldn't find the energy to finish the Samoan.
Mark Hunt picks up a hard fought decision over the former IFL heavyweight. He demonstrated that he has been putting in the time at American Top Team, picking up some grappling skills in the process. He is now officially riding a winning streak and is 2-1 in the UFC. Ben Rothwell returned from a long layoff and the ring rust was apparent. He's now 1-2 in the UFC and and his MMA record is now 31-8. Kid Nate is running analysis at MMANation, go check how he saw the fight.