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Fight Night: Hunt vs. Miocic Aftermath: Oh God, The Humanity (Or Lack Thereof)

(It was at that point that the once bloodthirsty Adelaide crowd, draped in tattered shawls and dirtied robes, began to cry out for mercy. via Getty)

We’ve had the discussion a million times over. Probably more. When a fighter loses the ability to protect himself — whether out of stubbornness, pride, stupidity, or some combination of the three — it falls upon the referee, or his cornerman, or the ringside physician, to do it for him. “A fighter is his own worst enemy,” we so often say, cheaply dismissing a much bigger issue that impacts all combat sports while doing next to nothing to ensure that these fighters can actually be saved from themselves.

Fight Night 65 was, if nothing else, a continuation of our cultural apathy for fighter safety, gently tucked beneath a guise of momentary outrage and Twitter rants. It was the kind of card that would’ve made Matt Saccaro dismiss us all as purveyors of a barbaric bloodsport wherein the costs highly outweigh the gains, were he still covering MMA. (Thankfully, a former governor surfaced to pick up his scraps.)

Four nearly five rounds, we watched in horror as a helpless and seemingly out of shape Mark Hunt was pulverized by Stipe Miocic in front of a moderately packed Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Despite the fact that Hunt was two steps and some 300 punches behind Miocic for the entirety of the fight, neither his cornerman nor referee John Sharp felt compelled to show him mercy, seemingly clinging to the hope that he would land a fight-ending shot that justified their pathetic lack of judgement. And to be perfectly honest, we probably would have praised Sharp for his restraint had Hunt ever landed that shot, as we have done in the past (*cough* Lesnar vs. Carwin *cough*).

But Hunt never landed that shot. In fact, he never even came close. He was outstruck, outmaneuvered, outgrappled, out-cardiod. It was by pure virtue of being Mark Hunt that his body was able to hold up for 4 and a half rounds before finally calling it quits, and when it was over, “The Super Samoan” showed every bit the wear and tear of a man who has perhaps been competing for a fight too many.

I’d like to think that we’d learn something from the straight up assault that took place last Saturday, that it would somehow lead us to rally for increased referee (and cornerman, for that matter) education regarding the safety of fighters. But who am I kidding?

We tuned in to Fight Night 65 expecting violence, and in a night filled with plenty of it, our humanity was somehow exposed, if ever so briefly. But today is a new day — one where we will dismiss the questions raised the night’s main event with a self-aware tweet. Nothing will change here. Mark Hunt will always be beaten within an inch of his life. Roan Carneiro will always be forced to do Jarin Valel’s job for him. Apollo Creed will always die before the towel is thrown.

The full results for Fight Night 65 are below.

Main card
Stipe Miocic def. Mark Hunt via fifth-round TKO (2:45)
Robert Whittaker def. Brad Tavares via first-round KO (0:44)
Sean O’Connell def. Anthony Perosh via first-round TKO (0:56)
James Vick def. Jake Matthews via submission (guillotine) (R1, 4:53)

Dan Hooker def. Hatsu Hioki via KO (R2, 4:13).
Kyle Noke def. Jonavin Webb via split decision (27-30, 29-28 2x).
Sam Alvey def. Dan Kelly via KO (R1, 0:49).
Bec Rawlings def. Lisa Ellis via submission (rear-naked choke)(R1, 4:09).
Brad Scott def. Dylan Andrews via submission (guillotine choke) (R2, 4:54).

Alex Chambers def. Kailin Curran via submission (armbar) (R3, 3:15)
Brendan O’Reilly def. Vik Grujic via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Ben Nguyen def. Alptekin Ozkilic via first-round TKO (4:59)

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