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The Auckland New Zealand UFC Fight Night 110 card started with some bad news. THIBAULT “GT” GOUTI had sustained an undisclosed still as of now illness and his fight vs “the other” DONG “THE MAESTRO” HYUN KIM was being scrapped. So it kicked off with JJ ALDRICH being able to get her 1st win in the UFC; by unanimous decision. It was against impressive, undefeated 19 year old CHAN-MI JEON; who missed weight by 2 pounds and relinquished 20% of her purse. ZAK “THE BARBARIAN” OTTOW opened the FS1 prelims with a split decision win over KIICHI “STRASSER”  KUNIMOTO. It was Kiichi’s 1st time back in the cage since February 2015. It started out as a kicking fest with Zak’s doing more damage, then once it got taken down to the mat Zak’s wrestling skills made the difference. Flyweight JOHN MORAGA was on a 3 fight losing streak, while the UFC debuting  ASHKAN “THE ASSASSIN” MOKHTARIAN; was red hot on a 6 fight win streak. It started good for Ashkan taking John down. But as they went down Moraga locked in a guillotine from the bottom but couldn’t finish it. John stuffed a shoot attempt and was able to gain Ashkan’s back. He then attempted a RNC to no avail. Ashkan was hanging in but he started looking gassed, especially after eating a flying knee. John continued the submission attempt assault as well as throwing a flurry of shots. It was all that, that helped John get back on the winning ways by a unanimous decision win.

Kiwi LUKE “THE JEDI” JUMEAU received a huge “pop” from the crowd as he was on a 6 fight win streak and making his UFC debut. DOMINIQUE “NON STOP ACTION PACKED DOM T” STEELE despite his 2 fight losing streak is not someone to be taken lightly. And Dom came out stronger too throwing leather. But Luke was able to survive the storm, and his take down defense helped keep him upright. A hard right hand dropped Steele, and for the rest of the night Luke would rock Dominique with more rights and uppercuts. After being declared winner via unanimous decision Luke said he wants on the MSG card in November. VINC “FROM HELL” PICHEL and DAMIEN “BEATDOWN” BROWN both came into their fight winning their last 2. But Vinc over the last 3 years has been going through a personal hell making him question life. Damien was able to catch Vinc early on with a few power shots. After Vinc popped Brown with a stinging right then left hook with his back to the fence referee MARK CRAIG jumped in to stop it.

The KO was at 3:37 into round 1. Former pro rugby player and New Zealander ALEXANDER “THE GREAT” VOLKANOVSKI was the definition of scorching hot; riding an 11 fight win streak. MIZUTO “PUGNUS” HIROTA did manage to show some incredible heart standing in there with him. Alex threw everything but the kitchen sink at Hirota but couldn’t finish him. He did come close though early after dropping Mizuto with a stiff right and some ground and pound.  By the time it went to the judge’s cards Alexander had a unanimous decision victory. In what was to be an exciting flyweight fight #8 ranked TIM ELLIOTT and #12 ranked BEN “10” NGUYEN locked horns. Ben caught Tim with a high kick first. Tim went for a take down but Ben was able to roll through it and got the back. He then cinched in a tight RNC and Tim tapped at just 49 seconds into the fight.

Afterwords, Nguyen said he’s shocked that Tim tapped as quickly as he did. If people were shocked at how fast that fight ended, the next one topped that. The incredibly always intense ION “THE HULK” CUTELABA decided against wearing his customary green body paint to the weigh-ins and staredown. But the stare down was no less intense, as a matter of fact he and HENRIQUE “FRANKENSTEIN” DA SILVA had to be separated. Ion threw a quick right that shocked Henrique then a left bomb dropped him. Referee MARC CRAIG jumped in to stop it at 22 seconds into the fight as Silva was getting hit with hammer fists for good measure.

The TUF 9 winner; “THE REAL DEAL” ROSS PERSON has been reeling as of late losing his last 3. And the much smaller Ross had to somehow get inside of  DAN “THE HANGMAN” HOOKER, who was making his 1st attempt at lightweight; moving from featherweight. Ross was able to get inside early on as the two exchanged strikes and kicks. Dan allowed Ross to keep coming in and hit a perfectly timed knee that sent Person’s mouthpiece flying.

He then landed a right hammer fist before referee NEIL SWAILES could jump in at 3:02 of round 2. After the fight Dan confirmed he’d never go back down to 145.

The enigma that is DEREK BRUNSON; was taking on judo olympian and forever the long shot,  DANIEL KELLY. Brunson after loses to ROBERT WHITAKER and ANDERSON SILVA definitely needed a win to right the ship. Brunson missed with a big sweeping left but landed the next one crumbling Daniel. Then for good measure he landed some hammer fists as well. The KO win, coming at 1:16 into round 1 was the 13th 1st round finish for Derek.

The man that helped put New Zealand MMA on the map; MARK “SUPER SAMOAN” HUNT and  “THE BLACK BEAST” DERRICK LEWIS were the nights main event. Lewis has been suffering lately from a serious lower back injury, but he’s a true warrior. On paper this looked to go maybe just a minute or two; but fights are not fought on paper. Both landed solid shots but Derrick decided to go with a kicking game (despite his back issues) early. As the 4 round war waged on Derrick was getting hit with more and more body shots and was missing with his strikes which gassed the big man out. Towards the end of the 3rd Lewis would get way out of range breathe heavy with his hands on his sides. Which is a very very bad sign. Mark while quicker, didn’t seem to jump on opportunities to finish it sooner. Finally referee MARK GODDARD had to stop the fight at 3:51 of the 4th round due to lack of defense from Lewis. In speaking with BRIAN STANN after the fight, Derrick said with him getting married next week, and not wanting to put his family through “this/fight camps” it was probably his last fight. When asked probably or definitely; he responded “most likely”. Derrick’s brutal honesty has made him more of a cult like fan favorite, and he’s been climbing the ladder very fast, as he was in title conversations. Then everyone he has taken pop shots at (ie Travis Browne, Francis Ngannou) called him a “big baby”. Mark on the other hand who is still suing the UFC said he plans to fight out his contract with the 3 more bouts. Then he will decide whats next.



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