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James Te Huna Announces His Retirement

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UFC Light Heavyweight fighter James Te Huna has announced that he will be retiring from fighting.  The announcement came late last night via Te Huna’s Facebook page.  The New Zealand native spent six years fighting for the UFC, and before that with CFC and many other organisations.  A twenty year veteran of the sport and Former Light Heavyweight Champion in CFC, Te Huna will finish his career with a record of 13-9.  Te Huna was also the first New Zealander to compete in the UFC.

During his time in the UFC Te Huna fought some of the top fighters in the world at 205lbs, including Alexander Gustafsson, Glover Teixeira, and Mauricio Rua.  Te Huna was on a four-fight losing streak when this decision came to step away from the sport. His most recent loss was to Steve Bosse via KO at UFC Fight Night 85 on March 20,2016.

In his Facebook post Te Huna says:

“Hey guys ..yes I’m alive haha, it’s been a couple months since my last post and I apologise for my absence. I have discovered something that is tough to swallow (but made a lot of sense) since the last fight but this recent decision is a positive step towards a healthy future, I hope you can all understand. I gave it everything I had guys, and those closest to me know how much of my life I gave to competition-I didn’t have the gift when I started..just put in the work to chase a childhood dream. This career has expanded to 20 years and I have/am very grateful for all the help and support that I have received along this amazing journey. I got to learn and gain respect, discipline from martial arts, my culture and my family. Living a healthy lifestyle (minus the hospitals lol). Experiencing the positives and negatives of a sport-I have been through it all and I’ll be using this knowledge in my next venture. I received a lot of help and I always done my best to give back whenever I could. I would like to encourage the youth to get involved and I will continue to promote. There have been a lot of proud moments-having the opportunity to represent my culture to the world, but most of all being told from the person who I looked up to, my nephew my namesake. Again, thank you guys for all the support and a big thank you to my family.

Kia ora
Jamie”

 

 

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New Zealand

Mark Hunt vs Derrick Lewis in in the works for UFC Auckland

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The UFC will be returning to New Zealand this year and the event could very well be showcasing one of the country’s biggest stars, as Kiwi Mark Hunt vs. Derrick Lewis in currently in the works to headline the main event of the Auckland card according to MMAJunkie.com. This event will be taking place on June 10th, 2017 at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand and will be entitled UFC Fight Night 110 and will be shown live on Fox Sports 1.The UFC has not held an event in New Zealand since UFC Fight Night 43 in June of 2014 – Hunt was not on that card.

Mark Hunt (12-11-1-1) will be coming into this fight with Lewis following the loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 earlier this month. Hunt suffered a third round KO and is currently under medical suspension due to a leg injury suffered at some point during that loss – a medical suspension from which the 42-year-old will be eligible to return on April 19th. Hunt is ranked seventh in the official UFC rankings, just below Lewis.

Derrick Lewis (18-4-1) is currently riding a six-fight win streak. Of his last six wins, five of them have come by way of KO or TKO, including two performance of the night bonuses. His most recent win against top ten ranked Travis Browne rocketed Lewis to number six on the official rankings and has put him in title contention talk. Lewis has headlined the past two events he fought on, and appears set to do so again at UFC Fight Night 101.

Both of these fighters are known for their power and knockout abilities. As a main event, this will be set as a five round fight, but with the brute strength and finishing tendencies of these men, there appears little chance of it going the distance. The fight has not been made official by the UFC as of yet, and cannot be until Hunt is cleared from medical suspension. There are currently no other fights scheduled for this event, but as the event is still 3 months away, it will be some time yet before the card fills up.

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Events

5 Things We Learned from UFC Fight Night Melbourne

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The hangover that is lingering following the drama at UFC 205, showed no sign of abating as once again the UFC’s globe-trotting continued to Melbourne, Australia. Despite being a lackluster card from top to bottom, with the exception of a few fights, the night of fighting consisted of a high number of decision victories – ten to be exact. The drama all unfolded in the first round of a wild main event between Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson. Although there was a lack of exciting finishes, there were certainly some memorable performances in Melbourne.

 

1. Nguyen reminds us of the hype

Fighters tend to be judged, in a large part, on their ability to bounce back from a defeat. Following his initial loss to Nate Diaz, Conor McGregor received resounding praise for his grace in defeat and his ability to return unfazed by it. Ben Nguyen, came up short in his last bout against fellow rising prospect Louis Smolka. Nguyen put up a valiant showing in that scrap, a performance that merited widespread praise. “Ben 10” followed up that brave showing on his return in Melbourne. Taking on the always tough, Geane Herrera, Ben started smoothly and picked up speed as the rounds went on. Moving forward, while throwing strikes comfortably from either stance, Nguyen outworked, outfought and outclassed Herrera. “Ben 10” gave everyone a subtle reminder tonight, exactly why he is highly touted in the flyweight division.

2. Kelly shows no signs of slowing down

Daniel Kelly showcased a granite chin and a huge heart in his clash with Chris Camozzi. Wearing a gruesome mask of crimson for the majority of their war due to a slicing elbow from Camozzi in the first round, Kelly waded forward through countless strikes, pressuring Camozzi from bell to bell. Kelly, the Australian native ended the fight on top landing big elbows, and the 39-year-old judo standout received a huge standing ovation from the Melbourne crowd. A massive win for Dan Kelly, and a feel-good moment for those in attendance in Melbourne.

Bizarre calls

One rule is very clear in mixed martial arts, and that is, a fighter cannot call their own timeouts. Gesturing to the referee during his clash with Anderson Silva, nearly cost Michael Bisping the fight, and it certainly cost him a sore head. The main card curtain opener saw Seo Hee Ham, twice stop without the referee’s consent. Two eye pokes went unnoticed by referee John Sharpe, causing Ham to briefly stutter twice. In the third round, it led to Danielle Taylor, leaping in with a flurry of hard shots to the head that dazed Ham. This strong finish to the fight likely enabled Taylor to steal a close decision over Ham who is now on a two-fight losing skid. It seems each week there is a strange call from referees and this was prevalent once again in Melbourne.

Pedro shines bright in home debut

Dan Kelly, received a hero’s reception as he took the decision win early on in the night, however, the response for his fellow Australian Tyson Pedro may have taken the cake. Pedro submitted Khalil Rountree inside one minute of the first round with a rear naked choke. That doesn’t tell the whole story of the fight, though. After being dropped by a vicious Rountree left, in the opening exchange, the UFC debutant had to weather the early storm. After surviving the knockdown, the momentum swung Pedro’s way after he landed a takedown immediately progressing to the back mount. Utilizing both hooks, Pedro flattened Rountree out and sunk in the choke. A wonderful moment for the debutant, who incredibly managed the first finish of the evening.

Robert Whittaker is ready for the top 5

After a fairly anticlimactic card, the main event did not disappoint. Right from the opening bell Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson went at it hammer and tong, with neither giving ground. Both men were shaken early in the rushed striking exchanges, and Whittaker eventually took advantage of Brunson’s recklessness. The New Zealander, showed the diversity in his striking, landing a short counter in the pocket. A beautifully measured high kick, followed by a barrage of ground strikes sealed the deal for Whittaker. It’s the biggest win of Robert’s young career and he deserves an opponent in the top 5 of the division in his next outing.

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Fight Announcements

Brock Lesnar to Fight Mark Hunt at UFC 200

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On ESPN Sports Center today, Brock Lesnar announced that his opponent for UFC 200 will be none other than “The Super Samoan” Mark Hunt.

Lesnar suffered back to back losses in his last two MMA bouts, and said that the way his MMA career was cut short back in 2011 due to diverticulitis had been eating away at him inside for some time and that he “didn’t want to be looking back 20 years from now saying ‘son, you should have done that.'” regarding a return to the sport. Lesnar also revealed that he was the one who instigated his return, saying that he “called 3 months ago” about his intentions to once again fight for the UFC.

Lesnar was then asked about his motives for returning, and stated categorically that his reasons were not financial, even though he was going to be handsomely rewarded in that regard. “It isn’t about the money for me,” he began. “You can’t step into the octagon just for money. This is in my heart. But let me tell you, it’s a boat load of money. There’s a lot of zeros.”

Fans will be wondering if this fight at UFC 200 will be a one-time thing, but Lesnar was non-committal on the issue. “It will be (a success). We will cross that road when we get there. I’ve got Summerslam in August so I’m a busy beaver. One thing at a time.

Lesnar was, of course, the UFC heavyweight champion from 2008 until 2010 and headlined UFC 100 in July, 2009, emerging with a second round TKO demolition of his long-time nemesis, Frank Mir. At UFC 200, Lesnar gets the chance to exorcise the demons that have haunted him since his enforced retirement due to his illness – something which he claimed on Sports Center that was the main factor for his losses to Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem, stating that he “didn’t lose to my foe. I lost to diverticulitis.”

In Mark Hunt, Lesnar faces a type of opponent who many believe to be his kryptonite – a power puncher – and they do not come much more powerful than Hunt. In his 12 professional wins, Hunt has amassed 9 knockouts, including finishes of Frank Mir, Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson. For Hunt, who still has aims of fighting for a UFC title at the age of 42, a win over “The Beast Incarnate” at UFC 200 would be colossal, and arguably, the biggest of his competitive career.

UFC 200 will take place from the newly built T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 9. The card will be headlined by a UFC light heavyweight unification bout between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, with Lesnar vs Hunt expected to act as the co-main event. The full card currently stands as follows:

UFC 200 (Bout order TBC):

  • Daniel Cormier (c) vs Jon Jones (ic) – UFC Light Heavyweight Title
  • Brock Lesnar vs Mark Hunt
  • Miesha Tate (c) vs Amanda Nunes – UFC Women’s Bantamweight Title
  • Jose Aldo vs Frankie Edgar – UFC Interim Featherweight Title
  • Cain Velasquez vs Travis Browne
  • Cat Zingano vs Julianna Peña
  • Johny Hendricks vs Kelvin Gastelum
  • TJ Dillashaw vs Raphael Assuncao
  • Sage Northcutt vs Enrique Marin
  • Gegard Mousasi vs Derek Brunson
  • Diego Sanchez vs Joe Lauzon
  • Jim Miller vs Takanori Gomi

 

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