It was a mixed bag of results for the three Down Under fighters at UFC 160 tonight, with Mark Hunt and James Te Huna both losing within the distance, while Robert Whittaker stopped Colton Smith in a tactical effort, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Leading up to the night’s co-main event, few expected the judges would be needed in the imminent Heavyweight bang fest between Mark Hunt and Junior Dos Santos. With his superior reach and trademark overhand right, Dos Santos troubled the “Super Samoan” throughout the opening two rounds. However, living up to his hard headed reputation, Hunt was not going down easy, as he proved in round one after getting dropped from a Dos Santos looping right hand. Within seconds Hunt was back to his feet and stalking the former champion again. Round two saw Dos Santos continue to exploit his reach advantage while Hunt began to find a home for his left hook. Much to the crowd’s dislike, the round drew to a close with Dos Santos scoring a double leg takedown before landing short shots from side control. With an unanticipated decision becoming a real possibility late in the third, Dos Santos floors Hunt with a spinning back kick before sealing the deal, and reinforcing his UFC number one rank, with an unneeded final right hand on the canvas. With this victory, Junior Dos Santos hands Hunt just his second career KO loss, while ending the Sydney based Kiwi’s four bout winning run and rebounding from his Heavyweight title loss to Cain Velasquez back in December.
It was a short night tonight for James Te Huna who faced Brazilian Light Heavyweight Glover Teixeira. After what was beginning to look like the predicted striking war in the opening minute, Te Huna was caught off gaurd when Teixeira dropped down and secured a tight Guillotine Choke. After just seconds the fight was over with the crowd favorite forcing the tap at 2:38. With an impressive 19 straight wins behind him, the Brazilian continues his push for a shot at the Light Heavyweight Title, while Te Huna’s four fight win streak comes to an end.
Content with defending the takedown and counter punching, Robert Whittaker (pictured) scored a third round TKO in the prelims tonight over The Ultimate Fighter season 16 winner Colton Smith. Whittaker proved to be the superior fighter of the two men with a composed and confident display. With his left hand down and right hand cocked throughout the crowd pleasing encounter, the Aussie easily stuffed Smith’s takedown attempts while out landing the wrestler on his feet. He didn’t have it all his own way however. Whittaker was dropped by a solid right hand with less than a minute left in the opening frame. Following him to the canvas, Smith looked to lock up a Kimura, however Whittaker was able to roll out before returning to his feet. Going into the third round, it was obvious the crowd was enjoying the welterweight battle. Whittaker gave the large Aussie contingent something more to cheer about, with a flush right hand that dropped his opponent in the opening minute of the final frame. Not missing a beat, the Aussie was quick to give the referee enough to call a halt to the bout, with a handful of strikes on the ground. Smith immediately stood and protested the stoppage. Whittaker remains undefeated in the UFC after unanimously outpointing Brad Scott to win The Ultimate Fighter “Smashes” series at UFC on FX 6 back in December on the Gold Coast. After beating Mike Ricci to take out Season 16 of the reality series, Colton Smith suffers his first defeat in the promotion.
In the main event, Antonio Silva proved no match for UFC Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez in their UFC 146 rematch. It took the champ just 1:21 to stop the encounter via TKO, after dropping “Big Foot” and finishing him on the ground.