Looking back – Hunt vs Nelson

It feels like a lot less than (just over) a year ago that 2 behemoths graced the cage with their combined presences, but on the 20th of September 2014, at the home of Japanese MMA the Saitama Super Arena that these 2 men, known for their truly devastating striking power and chins of steel met for the 1st time.

History happened.


Roy looks focused with a poor diet, (the story of his life), but we all know the power this TUF Heavyweights winner has in his hands. We also know the credentials he has in BJJ although we very, very rarely see it.

The music and crowd fall silent. Hunt is seen walking down the tunnel as the music hits and the crowd find their voice.

Watching Mark Hunt stalking down to the cage in the home of Pride FC was awesome. This was the birthplace of Hunts roots in MMA. The once great Japanese organisation, home of the great heavyweights, the ultra-educated crowds, the respect and the show that is Saitama Super Arena.

Hunt looks great despite the rumours of a the difficult weight-cut. He looks incredibly calm and in a word – ready.
Tale of the tape

From the opening moment the fight is everything it was hyped up to be.

Both men excellent with their hands and fearless in their approach are picking their shots. Hunt looks light and has his jab in Roy’s face whenever he tries to close the distance. Mark stuffs a couple of seemingly half-hearted takedown attempts but eats some decent shots.Roy throws the overhand and misses by a whisker and less than a minute later Hunt catches him and bloods Nelson’s lip. Eye-poke and a break for a minute then back into it with more precise strikes that are blocked or miss by centimeters with some solid jabs on both sides and a nice uppercut by Hunt that touches Roy on the chin as he ducks to close the distance.

Round Ends.

Mark takes the stool as  Muay Thai & striking coach Lolo Heimuli is short and precise in his advice to Hunt as he tells him to drop his left counter-hook by 5 inches.

The crowd is alive in between rounds cheering rhythmically to the replays of Maku Huntu  putting his fists on Big Country.

Hunt vs Nelson 1
Round 2 of a scheduled 5 begins with more of the same as both men probe and land good shots, getting appreciative calls and applause from the once again, nearly silent Japanese crowd.

Nelson lands a takedown on the K1 Grand-Prix Champion who shows that his BJJ has improved by sweeping and getting back to his feet. Hunt seems to pick up the pace and has his jab in Roy’s face almost permanently as he begins to dictate the action. Mark lands a solid shot that brings more claret from Roy’s mouth and begins to stalk him towards the cage.

He probes with the jab again and Nelson attempts to close the distance by ducking and leaning in. Mark has measured this for the last few minutes and throws a pure-technique right uppercut that turns Roy’s jaw for the first time since Andre Arlovski in Elite-XC – watch the video HERE.

Hunt vs Nelson - burgers

Watch the last moments of the Hunt vs Nelson fight HERE

Let us know what you thought of the fight, it will always be one of my favourites – like many a Mark Hunt fight 🙂 #Chur

BONUS – I’m sure many of us remember this legendary K1 showdown between Mark Hunt and (now WSOF President) Ray Sefo!

Nobody does it like the Japanese.. Enjoy!

Who’s next?

If you caught the article about last weekends Proving Grounds MMA Event, you know that it was a great one, so what’s up next?

In the coming days I’ll be catching up with NZMMAs newest rising star on the international scene – Dan “The Hangman” Hooker and chatting to him about all manner of things, including his upcoming fight at UFC Japan on the #HuntVsNelson card in September this year!

Dan won his UFC debut on June 28th this year against Ian “Enty” Entwistle at UFC Auckland and is about to start his camp for his next fight against 4 time UFC veteran – Maximo Blanco.

Looking forward to it!

Credit: Hannah Peters/Getty Images AsiaPac