Auckland, New Zealand – After sixteen years competing and conquering on the world stage, Kiwi combat sports legend Mark ‘The Super Samoan’ Hunt will make a highly anticipated and long-awaited return to his native Auckland to headline New Zealand’s second live UFC® event. Head-hunter Hunt will face American Derrick ‘The Black Beast’ Lewis in a 5-round main event at Vector Arena on Sunday, June 11.
Tickets to UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: LEWIS vs. HUNT go on-sale to the public at 10 a.m. NZST on Wednesday, April 12 via Ticketmaster.
“We are thrilled to be returning to New Zealand with UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: LEWIS vs. HUNT,” UFC Senior Vice President, Head of International and Content, Joe Carr, said. “We have seen tremendous growth and interest in UFC across New Zealand since our first live event in 2014. Coming back to Auckland, especially with Mark Hunt to compete in his home town for the first time in 16 years, is definitely something our fans should be excited about”.
Fighting out of Sydney, Australia by way of South Auckland, New Zealand, Hunt (12-11-1 1NC) is a feared veteran of the combat sports world – a former K1 World Grand Prix Champion and opponent to a who’s-who of MMA heavyweight elite. Known best for his raw power and walk-away knock-outs, Hunt has earned six post-fight bonuses throughout his UFC® career, including an incredible draw against Antonio Silva at UFC® FIGHT NIGHT: HUNT vs. BIGFOOT in Brisbane, December 2013, widely regarded as the greatest heavyweight MMA contests of all time. Currently ranked 7th in the UFC heavyweight standings, Hunt has his sights on winning his first-ever MMA bout on home soil for his patient and passionate fans.
Standing in his way is the 6th ranked Lewis (18-4 1NC, fighting out of Houston, Texas, USA), who is in blistering form. On a tear of six fights and with two post-fight bonuses to his name, Lewis put the heavyweight division on notice with his most recent win over Travis Browne at UFC® FIGHT NIGHT: LEWIS vs. BROWNE in February 2017. Referencing his toughness, the hard-hitting Texan respectfully requested Hunt as his next challenge on his run toward the heavyweight title.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: LEWIS vs. HUNT will also feature a stacked fight card of elite New Zealand, Australian and international mixed martial artists, including:
- #DadsArmy will be out in full-force in support of surging Australian middleweight Daniel Kelly (12-1, fighting out of Melbourne, Australia) vs American sniper Derek Brunson (16-5, fighting out of Wilmington, North Carolina, USA).
- In the flyweight division, first ranked Joseph Benavidez (25-4, fighting out of Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA) will look to extend his 6-fight win streak and push towards another title challenge against exciting Australian prospect Ben Nguyen (16-6, fighting out of Brisbane, Australia).
- 11th ranked, former flyweight title challenger John Moraga (16-6, fighting out of Phoenix, Arizona, USA) will welcome exciting Australian prospect and debutant Ashkan ‘The Assassin’ Mokhtarian to the Octagon™.
Additional bouts for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: LEWIS vs. HUNT will be announced in the coming weeks.
UFC Fight Club® members will have the opportunity to purchase tickets on Monday, April 10 at 10 a.m. NZST via the website www.ufcfightclub.com. A special Internet ticket pre-sale will be available to UFC newsletter subscribers and event website registrants on Tuesday, April 11 at 10 a.m. NZST. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com or register their interest at www.ufc.co.nz/Auckland.