After the UFC 135 main card got off to a fast start with Nate Diaz’s first-round win over Takanori Gomi, heavyweights turned in a pair of lackluster decisions, as Mark Hunt outpointed a gassed Ben Rothwell and Travis Browne topped Rob Broughton.
Here’s MMAFrenzy.com’s play-by-play of Hunt vs. Rothwell:
Round 1- Fighers try to touch gloves but cannot get in sync and just give up. Rothwell quickly shoots but Hunt slides away easily. Both fighters look more trimmed than they have been in the past. Hunt’s moving well and looking to get inside the reach of Rothwell. Rothwell fakes a punch and hits a blast double into mount. Hunt manages to recover side control and uses the cage to escape. Rothwell tries another shot and is blocked by Hunt. Rothwell shoots again and Hunt shows much better hips than he has in the past and escapes. Hunt with the takedown and gains side control briefly. Rothwell escapes and we’re back to our feet. Rothwell’s eye is a mess now from an elbow. Rothwell lands a takedown with 25 left and lands some elbows to end the round. Great opening round action wise but Rothwell takes it 10-9.
Round 2- Both fighters exchange early before Rothwell takes another shot and is blocked. Hunt with a takedown and he begins working ground and pound from Rothwell’s half butterfly guard. Big elbows from Hunt and Rothwell gains full guard. Rothwell is trying to set up an armbar but Hunt passes into side control. Hunt goes knee to belly and lands some shots. Ben gives up his back and Hunt works from back side mount. Hunt moves to mount and shockingly goes for a very poor armbar, needed to get his legs in better position. Kudo’s to Hunt for advancing his game though. Round ends and Hunt wins it easy. Hunt 10-9 and 19-19. *Rothwell is limping badly, likely blew his knee again.
Round 3- Rothwell looks awful and Hunt is on the warpath. Hunt lands a strong upper cut and spinning elbow before gaining a takedown. Hunt postures up and lands a few hammerfists before the action stops. The referee stands them up. Both fighters are tired but Rothwell is clearly fighting hurt and attempts several desperate takedowns to no avail. Hunt lands a massive shot and somehow Rothwell is standing. Hunt lands a double on a zombie-like Rothwell. Hunt is in side control and lands a few hammerfists. Referee stands them up from side control with a minute left… um wow… Rothwell is still zombie like as Hunt fires a headkick and tries a takedown but Rothwell counters and ends up in mount. Round 3 goes to Hunt 10-9. Hunt 29-28.
Mark Hunt defeats Ben Rothwell via unanimous decision (29-28,29-27,30-27)
And here’s our play-by-play of Browne vs. Broughton:
Round 1- Browne opens up the action with a huge overhand right that misses. Broughton connects on a low kick that stumbles Browne and Browne clinches. Browne pins Broughton against the cage but the fight doesn’t stay there long. Browne is swinging for power on every shot but is not doing a good job of keeping his hands up or stringing more than one or two punches together. Broughton having a tough time closing the distance as Browne is backing up whenever he advances. Browne attempts a poor attempt at a flying knee but misses. Browne lands a takedown into mount to end the round. Close round but 10-9 Browne.
Round 2- Broughton looks for a leg kick but Browne evades it. Broughton keeps moving forward but Browne mostly just evades and picks his spots. Browne attempts a big front kick but Broughton moves out of the way easily and catches it but cannot take Browne down. Browne lands a nice flurry and pins Broughton against the cage but isn’t utilizing it well. The fighters separate and Browne looks tired. Browne gets a takedown and he’s got Broughton mounted again. The round ends, and Browne wins another close one. Browne 20-18.
Round 3- Round starts with more of the same before Browne lands another takedown midway through the round and begins working from half-guard. Very little action in this round as Browne lands just enough to keep the fight on the ground. Browne wins the round 10-9. Should win 30-27.
Travis Browne defeats Rob Broughton via unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-27)
Pictured: Travis Browne (via UFC.com)