It turns out that Mark Hunt can’t wrestle worth a damn.

I mean, not that he’s ever needed that skillset too much. As a heavy-handed K-1 winner, he came into MMA the deadliest of punchers. And it’s served him well all these years.

But in the co-main event of UFC 221 last night, the New Zealander took on former collegiate wrestler Curtis Blaydes, and lets just say that just as UFC 1 taught us, wrestling always beats striking.

Blaydes really only has one blemish on his UFC record, a TKO loss to Francis Ngannou, so he’s no slouch. But if you’re comparing resumes, Hunt should’ve had this one in the bag. Alas, that whole wrestling thing…

The bout started off with both men gauging distance, with Hunt cocked and loaded with a counter-punch and Blaydes itching to shoot and grab a hold of some gigantic Kiwi. Then Hunt started connecting with some killer punches, and suddenly it was all about Blaydes struggling to survive. He did though, and in Rounds 2 and 3 he wasted no time going for takedowns – some of them stuffed, some of them successful, all of them preventing Hunt from punching his head off.

When time expired, Blaydes took the unanimous decision.

Elsewhere on the card, Jake Matthews got eye-gouged to a ridiculous degree when he put Li Jingliang in a submission attempt. Jingliang suffered no penalty for his Krav Maga techniques, though Matthews went on to win the decision.

Finally, South Korean judo black belt Dong Hyun Kim edged past Damien Brown. Giddyup.