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UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Miocic – Winners and losers

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Karim Zidan delves into the real winners and losers from Saturday night’s Fight Pass event in Adelaide, Australia.

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Less than a week after many fans and pundits declared boxing dead, the UFC hosted a fight card with few notable names apart from the heavyweights showcased in the main event. However, as is usually the case in such scenarios, the event brought with it an array of stoppages and entertaining bouts that sent the Adelaide crowd home satisfied.

While the main event turned into a lopsided affair that should never have gone past the third round, the remainder of the card was a decent showcase of some of the local talent in the region, as well as some potential talent in the lighter weight classes.

Winners

Stipe Miocic did something that few have been able to do in recent years and that is dominate Hunt for five rounds. The heavyweight put on a clinic in the main event of the Adelaide show and after he battered the New Zealand native for the better part of five rounds, he was awarded the TKO victory with less than three minutes to go in the fight. After suffering a loss to Junior dos Santos in his most recent fight last year, this was a good rebound for Miocic to get right back on track in the shallow heavyweight division.

Robert Whittaker has blossomed nicely since his TKO loss to Stephen Thompson and has now earned his second consecutive TKO victory. This time, however, Whittaker's win came in the opening round against a tough test in Brad Tavares. He passed with flying colours in a matter of 44 seconds and proved that he can be a significant force in the middleweight division.

James Vick extended his win streak to four consecutive victories inside the Octagon when he rallied to submit Jake Matthews in the opening bout on the main card. It was a slow start for the TUF veteran but once he picked up his aggression he was able to find the opening for the guillotine and cinched the submission. He remains undefeated with an 8-0 professional record and will look to continue his gradual climb up the lightweight ranks.

Daniel Hooker rebounded from his first UFC loss with a spectacular finish against veteran featherweight Hatsu Hioki in the final prelim on the Adelaide fight card. He had to weather an early onslaught from Hioki, who looked like the more physically imposing fighter. However, Hooker landed a surprise head-kick to send his opponent tumbling to the canvas, thus cementing a milestone victory in his career. Now that he has successfully earned a pivotal win in the UFC, it will be interesting to see who Sean Shelby matches him up against over the coming months.

Bec Rawlings came into her second Octagon outing with the aggression and determination that was absent from her promotional debut. In front of a crowd that fully supported her, Rawlings fired away at Lisa Ellis for the majority of the opening round before landing a vicious knee that floored Ellis. From there, she immediately took her back and locked in a rear-naked choke. It will be interesting to see if Rawlings can convert the momentum from her first victory in nearly two years into a win streak in the UFC.

Alex Chambers won a fight that many had written off well before she stepped inside the Octagon. In fact, it was a fight that Kailin Curran should have won based on her size and style, yet after a dominant opening round, Chambers rallied back to lock in a slick armbar submission from the guard. It was an unexpected comeback and handed Chambers her first UFC victory.

Ben Nguyen kicked off the night's action in Adelaide with a TKO finish right on the buzzer to cement his impressive UFC debut. The American was faced with a tough opponent in Alptekin Ozkilic but managed to outstrike him in the pocket and eventually finished the job right at the end of the opening round. Nguyen showed significant power for a flyweight and could be a force in the division if he continues to develop his game.

Losers

Mark Hunt looked absolutely terrible for the entire duration of his main event bout against Stipe Miocic. Apart from his opponent's sound strategy to keep Hunt's back on the canvas, the New Zealand native looked lost even when he was given openings during striking exchanges. In short, Hunt was underprepared, seemingly out of shape and it was evidently clear on the broadcast as he was battered for over 22 minutes.

Brad Tavares began his UFC tenure with a 7-1 record until the start of 2014 yet has dropped to 1-3 since that time. His latest loss was his most emphatic, as Whittaker knocked him unconscious in 44 seconds. Given that his only win in the last 16 months was against the declining Nate Marquardt, Tavares will need to prove that he is still a viable competitor in the middleweight division.

Hatsu Hioki was once hailed as one of the premier fighters in the UFC featherweight division, yet over the past three years he has only managed one victory in six fights, including his most recent KO loss to Daniel Hooker on Saturday night. Given that his only UFC win since 2012 was over a year ago against Ivan Menjivar, Hioki is one stumble away from a three-fight losing skid that will almost certainly spell the end of his tenure with the promotion.