MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar made a triumphant return to the Octagon by outclassing number 8-rated heavyweight Mark Hunt in the co-headliner of UFC 200 on Saturday, July 9 (Sunday Manila time) at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Although Hunt had been pegged by betting odds as the favorite to win in the heavyweight showdown versus Lesnar, the 38-year-old native of Webster, South Dakota leaned on his wrestling background to easily cruise to a lopsided decision victory, earning 3 scores of 29-27 from the cageside judges.
Lesnar proved his doubters wrong by denying Hunt’s firepower in the stand-up department as he converted a single-leg takedown.
As Hunt found his way back up to his feet, Lesnar instantaneously scooped him back to the canvas and worked in side control, giving him the opening to hammer solid blows to the head.
Hunt was able to momentarily take control in the second round by capitalizing on Lesnar, who has gasping for air.
Lesnar allowed the 5-foot-10 New Zealander to hurl his signature overhand right that forced him to backpedal and evade serious danger.
Midway point of the second stanza, Lesnar started to shoot for desperate takedown attempts, which were defended by Hunt.
In the third and final frame, a recovered Lesnar stormed out of his corner and then pursued with a double-leg takedown.
Lesnar placed himself into side mount, battering Hunt with short rights and delivering brusque knees to the midsection.
Putting all his weight on Hunt, Lesnar punctuated the round on full mount, nailing forearm strikes while looking for an arm-triangle choke.
With the impressive victory over Hunt, Lesnar captures his first professional victory since December 2011 and improves his prizefighting record to 6-3.
Lesnar’s 3-round encounter with Hunt is supposed to be a one-off deal before he returns to WWE for SummerSlam to face Randy Orton in August, but he said he is considering the idea of having another future UFC fight down the road.
On the other hand, Hunt downgrades his mixed martial arts standing to 12-11-1 and snaps his two-fight winning streak. – Rappler.com