Hunt (11-10) earned his first win in more than a year, knocking out Silva (19-8) with a right hand just 3:41 into the fight. The UFC 193 bout was a rematch of a five-round war between the two in late 2013, which ended in a majority draw.
Unlike the first fight, which saw a combined 200 strikes landed, Saturday’s bout did not feature many back-and-forth exchanges. Hunt stalked Silva around the cage, eventually buzzing him with a right-hand, left-hook combination. After that combo, Silva looked a bit stiff and couldn’t get away from the fence as Hunt grew slightly more aggressive. A right hand to the temple crumpled Silva to his knees, and referee John Sharp stepped in immediately.
“Pretty satisfying,” Hunt said when asked about the win. “I’m fit as a fiddle. I trained really hard at AKA Thailand. I had super hard guys to train with.”
It’s a nice, bounce-back win for the 41-year-old Hunt, who did not look “fit as a fiddle” in his last fight. In May, Hunt suffered one of the worst losses of his career; he was battered by Stipe Miocic over the course of five rounds in a TKO loss. Prior to that performance, Hunt came up short in an interim UFC title bid against Fabricio Werdum last November.
On the other side, Silva, 36, continues to struggle when it comes to taking punches. The Brazilian has now been knocked out in three of his past four fights, each time in the first round. A one-time UFC title challenger, Silva has just one win in his past six fights. He tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone following the 2013 draw to Hunt and was forced to serve a nine-month suspension.
Hunt, of New Zealand, received a nice pop from the Melbourne crowd. It is his eighth career knockout in mixed martial arts.
Witthaker dominates Hall
Middleweight Robert Whittaker (15-4) earned the biggest win of his career, defeating Uriah Hall (12-6) in a competitive three-round unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). Whittaker was originally supposed to fight Michael Bisping, who fell off the card due to injury. Whittaker pressured Hall well on the feet, outlanding him 115 to 53 in total strikes. He survived a few scares along the way, including a nasty left-head kick in the second round. Whittaker, of New Zealand, has won four in a row.
Rosholt controls Struve, wins third straight
Former collegiate wrestler and heavyweight contender Jared Rosholt (14-2) managed to grind out a decision against Stefan Struve (26-8) via unanimous scores of 29-28. Relying heavily on his wrestling, Rosholt scored takedowns in each of the three rounds and controlled Struve just enough on the floor to claim a win. He tired late and ate some big shots along the fence, but Struve was unable to get a finish. Rosholt extends his current win streak to three.
Matthews recovers to stop Arreola
Aussie lightweight Jake Matthews (9-1) scored a comeback TKO victory over Akbarh Arreola (23-10) at 5:00 of the second round when a cageside physician stopped the bout due to damage to Arreola’s face. Arreola hurt Matthews in the first round and appeared on his way to a finish, but Matthews survived and turned the tide late in the first round. He took Arreola down early in the second and punished him with elbows. Matthews is now 3-1 in the UFC.