Mark Hunt showed little fear of fighting Stefan Struve on the ground, but it was his striking game that finished the fight as he put Struve away with a powerful left hook to win his fourth consecutive fight in the UFC at 1:44 of the third round.
Mark Hunt wasted little time getting inside the lengthy range of Stefan Struve and landing combinations. Hunt remained patient, picking his spots to step in range and score early in the bout. Struve managed to tie up Hunt, then pulled guard as many expected he might, then swept Hunt easily, landing in a dominating full mount position. Struve postured up and landed a flurry of big shots from the top, forcing Hunt to roll and give up his back. Struve then went for an armbar, sacrificing position to go for the finish. Hunt fought off the submission attempt and landed from the top before passing the guard of Struve to finish off the round.
Hunt found early success in the second, getting inside and scoring with power punches to the face of Struve. Struve came back and started to get his jab on track, but Hunt again stepped in and landed his powerful left hook as Struve covered up. Struve again went back to his jab before clinching again, but it was Hunt that would get the takedown with a perfectly executed throw. Struve, still content to work off his back, scrambled out and secured a leg threatening a submission attempt. Hunt pulled free then moved to side control showing little fear of fighting Struve on the mat. Struve again worked a sweep, landing in full mount, then rained down a barrage of big shots from the top. Hunt capitalized again on Struve going for an armbar, reversing position and finishing the round on top.
Both fighters came out landing with their jabs to kick off the final round. Hunt then went to the body before landing a staggering left hook that wobbled Struve. As Struve pumped his jab, Hunt put together a powerful three-punch assault. Hunt then hurt Struve with a monstrous right hand. Struve retreated toward the cage looking to survive, but Hunt came forward and landed a leaping left hook that sent Struve reeling to the canvas. Herb Dean checked on Struve then stopped the fight giving Hunt the biggest win of his UFC career.
The TKO victory improves Mark Hunt to 9-7 overall (4-1 UFC) and moves him one step closer to title contention in the UFC’s heavyweight division. The loss drops Stefan Struve to 23-6 (9-4 UFC).