There is no single MMA aficionado, fighter, or journalist who thought UFC Fight Night 34 would produce the greatest heavyweight fight in history. That is exactly what happened when Mark Hunt and Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva delivered a bloody epic that will become a legendary night where years from now, those that were fortunate enough to see it live will say, “Remember when Hunt fought Bigfoot?!”
On paper, this was supposed to be a simple affair that never escaped the first round. Either Hunt was going to knockout Bigfoot, or Bigfoot was going to make Hunt tap out. No one expected a 25-minute war where the two combatants punched each other in the face, so hard and so many times, that it was reminiscent of something you would see on The Walking Dead.
I have a slight issue with the referee Steve Perceval calling a time out in the fifth round so the doctor could check the cut on Silva’s forehead. It looked like Hunt might have been a couple more punches away from finishing the job. However, there were several instances in the fight where one fighter looked out on their feet and primed for defeat, only to dig down deep and find the will to push through and keep going. The frequency of this occurrence makes it unclear if Silva would have crumbled or conquered at that pivotal moment.
A fight that is scored a draw often leaves everyone hanging, wishing for a definitive resolution. This time, however, it was the complete opposite. I scored it for Hunt, but I wasn’t sure. Nobody else seems to be sure, either, which is why the usual venomous debate of who should have won is nowhere to be found. In the end, figuratively and literally, there was no loser in this fight, and there didn’t deserve to be one.
So, what happens now?
If there is a rematch, do you put it on free TV like its famous predecessor, or should it air on pay-per-view where fans will get the most bang for their buck? Should there even be a rematch? While Hunt and Bigfoot are entitled to a resolution, maybe this fight should be a masterpiece that stands on its own. No matter which way the wind turns, Hunt and Bigfoot are now stars of a higher magnitude as their bout joins the annals of Couture vs. Rizzo, Smith vs. Coleman, and the other caged classic that came before them.