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MMA UFC

Mark Hunt, Antonio Silva Show Progression

Mark Hunt

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

When the main event rolled around for UFC Fight Night 33, nearly everyone was calling for a knockout. How could you not? In one corner you had Mark Hunt, who is a very decorated striker, and in the other corner you had Antonio Silva, who has been knocking out everyone lately. On paper, this fight should not have lasted more than three minutes; and it almost did not. Hunt got clipped early and went down, but was able to stand right back up. I could not have been happier that he did.

What we witnessed Saturday night was nothing short of spectacular. The momentum changes, the unbelievable punches that both guys absorbed, the vicious ground and pound attacks that both fighters found themselves in — I guess the thing that I am most surprised at is the fact that it did go the distance.

What does this say about the fighters? Mostly that they are in incredible condition. Yes, toward the end of the fight, both guys were not doing much moving, but the fact that they were throwing punches was a miracle in and of itself.

This, to me at least, is showing progression in not only the sport itself, but in the heavyweight division. Could both of these guys have gone and tried to take each others heads off in the first 10 seconds? Of course; but both guys were extremely smart and had a game plan. Hunt was extremely patient in picking his shots and trying to get inside. Silva wanted to avoid the power of Hunt and pick him apart from the outside. The heavyweight division is known for its power and its finishes, but it was great to see the big guys go for the full 25 minutes and show that the big guys can make a decision. Amazing.