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Unfortunately for Nelson, Hunt would add to that legend that night in “The Land of the Rising Sun.” The “Super Samoan” Hunt flattened Nelson with a second round right uppercut, handing him the first (and, to date, only) knockout loss of a 30-fight career.
Now, a year later, Nelson finds himself in somewhat of a similar situation.
He’s known as a brawler, who just happens to also have a jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie.
But he showed a bit more fluidity and grace than many expected in that loss to Hunt; arguably winning the bout’s first round.
Perhaps most memorable are back-to-back victories over Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira and Mark Hunt in 2006.
But in his two most recent bouts, Barnett has lived and died by strikes — especially in the clinch.
He wasn’t exactly Muhammad Ali, but he out-paced Hunt to begin, moving in and out adn hitting a variety of punches at range.
Still, a minute or two into the second stanza, Hunt made the adjustments, and eventually timed the right strike to catch Hunt — and end the fight.
Nelson also lost his last bout, back in March at UFC 185.
That night, Alistair Overeem peppered him with kicks to the legs and body; along with a few flying knees — and eventually earned a decision win over three grueling rounds.