5 of the best heavyweight fights in MMA history

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Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva 1 | UFC Brisbane

In December 2013, the UFC headed down to Brisbane, Australia, for a Fight Night card topped by countryman Mark Hunt and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Both men were in need of a win in this fight. Hunt was coming off seeing the four-fight win streak that saved his Octagon career snapped at the hands of a knockout from Junior dos Santos. Silva, meanwhile, was thoroughly dominated in an under 90-second loss to Cain Velasquez in a heavyweight title fight at UFC 160.

If there is certainly one thing both men had, it was pure knockout power. It may be a cliche to say a fighter can end a fight with one punch, but these two legitimately had that ability. They also, at least at one point or another, were praised for the way they can take a heavy shot. But in this case, with both coming off being finished and the power they possessed, this one surely couldn’t go the distance, right?

Well, it did. And it was awesome.

The two were slow to start but soon began to fire their power, with Silva focused on kicks and Hunt trying to land overhands and hooks. Things looked bad for Hunt when Silva dropped him in the first round and looked for the finish, but he survived the round. Hunt tried to re-gain control in the second round but had trouble with Silva’s leg kick attack, clearly showing signs of hurt by the end of the second.

Hunt finally found success with a takedown in the third round before he and Silva struggled for control in the clinch. Hunt managed to clip and knock Silva down before swarming with punches and elbows from the top — but he couldn’t finish before the end of the round.

Silva continued to throw some dangerous shots at the start of the fourth, but he was clearly tired, with Hunt landing the more accurate shots and scoring another takedown. Silva, however, connected with a stunning combination with a couple of minutes left in the round before taking Hunt down and delivering vicious ground-and-pound. Yet, when it looked like the fight could be stopped at any point, it wasn’t.

Tired, bloodied and battered, the two men traded heavy, heavy blows throughout the fifth and final round before embracing each other to the roars and cheers of everyone in attendance. Sure, the bout was ruled a draw, but in this case, it feels kind of appropriate — as there was no loser in this one.

Hunt and Silva may have never captured big-stage MMA gold, but they’ll always have a place in the history books as delivering arguably the greatest heavyweight MMA fight in history.