Former UFC light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado is known to MMA fans for his toughness, chin, action-fighting style, and his noted background as a professional boxer (albeit with an extremely padded record).
On Saturday night’s Matchroom Boxing on DAZN card against Michael Hunter, a very obvious mismatch on paper proved to be exactly that in practice. Hunter (16-1, 12 KOs), a former cruiserweight who’s still a small heavyweight at 215 lbs, was always going to have a speed and technical advantage, and it took him only two rounds to demolish the Brazilian, who was credited with literally zero landed punches.
Watch the video below:
In fairness to Maldonado, he went the distance with current top-ten contender Oscar Rivas a few months ago, ditto Ukrainian-Canadian Oleksandr Teslenko back in March. This was still not good matchmaking, as Hunter’s only defeat came against Oleksandr Usyk at cruiserweight, and he’s otherwise a very talented boxer with a good amateur background. Hunter is not a murderous power-puncher, but he’s high-volume, accurate, and mixes up his punch selection very well. Hunter was a 50-to-1 favorite on some betting lines for a reason. Maldonado is not a contender, whereas Hunter very much has potential to become one.
Hopefully the 39-year-old Maldonado got a good B-side payday for what was his first stoppage loss in boxing, and it comes a year and a week after Nikita Krylov knocked him out in an MMA bout.
In other news, rising American phenom Devin Haney won the night’s main event with a brutal KO of veteran Antonio Moran.