Curtis Blaydes survived an early scare to emerge with a unanimous decision victory over Mark Hunt tonight at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia.
Blaydes fires off a few early punches that don’t find the target. Kick to the leg for Blaydes. He’s staying active in the opening minute. Both fighters try to throw a kick at the same time.
Both men fire off punches, but don’t find the target. Leg kick for Blaydes. He’s still trying to find his range with punches though.
A flurry of punches in close, but again there’s no clean connections. Blaydes gets in on a takedown, but Hunt does well to power back to his feet quickly.
Big overhand right from Hunt out of nowhere and Blaydes goes backwards on unsteady legs. Hunt hammers him again and Blaydes is struggling to survive here as his legs buckle under him. Another couple of big blows and in despearation he goes for a takedown and in a crucial moment in the fight he manages to do just that.
Hunt uses the cage to fight back to his feet, but Blaydes stays locked on and does well to send him back to the canvas.
Final minute of the round now with Blaydes in half-guard and just doing enough with light punches to keep the referee away. Now Blaydes moves to full mount and ends the round on HUnt’s back.
Blaydes immediately in on a takedown. Hunt shrugs that off, but Blaydes continues working hard for it against the cage.
Hunt manages to escape though and gets back to the center of the Octagon. Hunt dodges a punch and fires back with a oouple of his own.
Right hand from Blaydes comes up short. Again he does so and again he’s out of range, but he’s really looking for an opportunity to get in on a takedown attempt again.
Leg kick for Blaydes. He tries for the takedown and Hunt shoves him away. Jab for Blaydes and Hunt looks to counter, but that leaves him exposed enough for Blaydes to get in for the takedown attempt and finally manages to get him down in the center of the cage.
Blaydes in half-guard and landing a few elbows to the head. Final minute of the round. Right hands for Blaydes and then a big elbow as Hunt tries to find the room to escape. Nothing doing though and so Blaydes ends the round on top.
Blaydes fakes a jab and ducks into a takedown, landing it nicely. Hunt straight back up, but then Blaydes hoists him off his feet and dumps him back down to the mat again.
Blaydes moves to full mount and with more than four minutes remaining to work. Nice elbows being dropped down by Blaydes.
Now Blaydes thinks about a keylock and then changes back to elbow strikes. Hunt in a tough spot here, but he’s doing what he can to try to work back to his feet. He gets to his knee,s but Blaydes is still wearing on him.
Half the round remaining and Hunt stands, but Blaydes throws him down again. Hunt to his knees and stands again and almost breaks free, but Blaydes drags him down again.
Blaydes in side control now with 90 seconds to go. Punches land for Blaydes.
Hunt manages to stand again and the crowd roars, but yet another takedown from Blaydes sits him back down again. Repeated right hands for Blaydes as Hunt stands again, then gets dumped right back to the canvas.
Blaydes gets into full mount and lands a few more strikes as the round comes to an end.
So, Hunt came close to finishing his opponent early in the first round, but it Blaydes dug deep and used his wrestling to come back and dominate ‘The Super Samoan’ on the mat to emerge with a unanimous decision victory (30-26 x2, 29-27).