Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt kicked off the main card of UFC 209 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Overeem won the back-and-forth battle with a brutal knockout in the third round.
The first round took place entirely on the feet where both fighters opened up with leg kicks. Early in the round, Hunt threw a kick which was checked by Overeem, opening up a gash low on his shin. Overeem repeatedly attacked with oblique kicks to the knee which have been infamously thrown by many fighters from the Jackson-Winklejohn gym. Hunt was able to get in boxing range on a few occasions and land heavy punches, backing up Overeem. At the very end of the round, Hunt had Overeem hurt momentarily and followed up with a boxing combination against the cage before the bell rang.
The second round also took place standing up where Overeem continued throwing front kicks oblique kicks to the knee to keep Hunt at a distance. Closer to the middle of the round, Hunt landed a well-timed elbow just as Overeem was closing the distance which had him momentarily stunned. The latter half of the round took place mostly in the clinch where Hunt continued landing elbows with his back against the cage while Overeem threw several knees to the body.
The third round was a continuation of the second up until Overeem threw a left elbow to set up a hard right knee, knocking out Hunt, who slumped face-down into the canvas. The fight was stopped a 1:44.
“We’re not done yet. We’re back up there,” said Overeem, who suffered a loss to heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic last year, in his post-fight interview.