Mark Hunt knows when he has knocked out another man. He just knows.
Hunt (12-10) made quick work of former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir on Saturday, knocking him out with a single right hand at 3:01 of the opening round. The heavyweight fight headlined UFC Fight Night inside Brisbane Entertainment Centre in Brisbane, Australia.
In what has become his signature finish, Hunt scored a walk-off knockout over the 36-year-old Mir. He feinted with a double jab and then planted a short right hand directly behind Mir's left ear. Mir fell backwards and was badly hurt, but was still conscious and looking up toward his opponent. Rather than follow him to the ground, Hunt walked away.
Referee Marc Goddard quickly agreed with Hunt's assessment of the situation and called the bout off.
"There's always a winner and a loser," said Hunt, who picked up his second consecutive win. "It's sad one of us had to lose tonight. Frank is a good dude. I respect him a lot."
Mir tried several times to get Hunt to the floor, but never came close to accomplishing the task. He struggled to get into Hunt's lower body, all the while showing a lot of respect for the veteran's power. He did a nice job keeping the shorter, stockier Hunt on the outside -- until the short right hand.
Fighting out of Las Vegas, Mir suffered his first knockout loss since August 2013. He enjoyed a bit of a career resurgence last year, picking up back-to-back wins against Antonio Silva and Todd Duffee, but has since lost two in a row.
ESPN.com ranked Mir and Hunt the No. 9 and 10 heavyweights, respectively, in the world coming into Saturday. Prior to his two-fight win streak, Hunt suffered TKO losses to Stipe Miocic and Fabricio Werdum. Those two are scheduled to fight for Werdum's UFC title on May 14 in Curitiba, Brazil.
Mir suffered a knockout defeat for the eighth time in his career.
Magny rallies to stop Lombard
Welterweight Neil Magny (18-4) welcomed Hector Lombard (34-5-1) back to the Octagon with a come-from-behind TKO victory at 0:46 of the third round. After getting hurt by an uppercut and nearly finished in the opening frame, Magny rallied to earn his 10th win in 11 fights. He came close to submitting Lombard in the second round, before moving to full mount and dropping a long series of unanswered punches. For unknown reasons, referee Steve Perceval refused to call the fight in the second round. Lombard, who received a one-year drug suspension in 2015, suffered his first loss in three years.
Matthews submits Case in Round 3
Lightweight prospect Jake Matthews (10-1) looked phenomenal in a submission win against the highly touted Johnny Case (22-5). The 21-year-old Matthews beat up Case on the feet all three rounds, hurting him several times with body kicks and left hooks. He took Case's back in the third round and sank in the rear-naked choke at the 4:45 mark. Case, who came in with a perfect 4-0 record in the Octagon, had virtually no answer. He landed some offense, including ground-and-pound in the second round, but never appeared to hurt Matthews. The victory marked Matthews' ninth career finish.
Kelly pins upset on Carlos
Middleweight Daniel Kelly (11-1) scored an incredible upset against heavily favored Antonio Carlos Jr. (5-2), finishing the Brazilian via TKO at 1:36 of the final round. After a miserable opening frame that saw Carlos take Kelly's back and nearly choke him out, the 38-year-old Kelly started to turn the tide in the second round. He stuffed several of Carlos' takedowns and then hurt him in the third round with a knee to the face. Carlos tried to recover but Kelly swarmed with ground-and-pound to get the finish. Kelly picked up his fourth UFC win.
Bosse blows through Te Huna
Light heavyweight Steve Bosse (11-2) recorded the eighth first-round finish of his career, as he starched James Te Huna (16-9) with a right hand to the chin at the 0:52 mark. A former semi-professional hockey player, Bosse touched Te Huna with the left hook, and as Te Huna stepped forward with a punch, Bosse unleashed a sharp right hand to the chin. Bosse immediately started yelling and dropped his hands as Te Huna dropped to the floor, out cold. The win improved the 34-year-old's UFC record to 1-1.
Rawlings outpoints Ham
Aussie strawweight Bec Rawlings (7-4) picked up her second consecutive win by defeating Seo Hee Ham (16-7) via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28). Rawlings absorbed a lot of punches, but did not appear the worse for wear. She responded with heavier shots than Ham on the feet and took Ham's back during one sequence in the middle round. Rawlings started to gas late, although she managed to find a second wind and hold Ham against the fence in the final minutes. Rawlings, 27, moved to 2-1 in the UFC.