Mark Hunt isn’t in the UFC anymore, but the walk-off knockout lives on with Kai Kara-France scoring an outrageous first-round stoppage of Rogerio Bontorin at UFC 259.
Opening the main prelims, Kara-France was in severe danger of being submitted before regaining his feet and landing a sensational combo to the Brazilian’s chin.
Bontorin face-planted, with Kara-France doing his best flyweight Mark Hunt impression and walking off.
There was some confusion as it was unclear whether referee Herb Dean had stopped it, so Kara-France returned for a follow-up shot.
Dean stepped in to confirm that the bout was over, before a furious Bontorin threw his mouthpiece across the ring at Kara-France.
It ended with a magnificent knockout, but Kara-France was in serious trouble earlier on.
The Kiwi landed well in the early proceedings, but Bontorin was all power and energy as he plowed in and scored a takedown 90 seconds into the bout. Kara-France was in deep trouble immediately, with Bontorin looking for a rear-naked choke against the cage wall.
The Brazilian locked in a body triangle, allowing him to land punches and search for submission opportunities. It was a dire outlook for the New Zealander.
KKF regained his feet with 90 seconds left in the round, but Bontorin took his back and nearly scored an RNC win on the mat.
Against all odds, Kara-France escaped danger, got back to his feet and scored the huge comeback knockout in the closing stages of the round.
“I was caught early, weathered the storm, got back up and turned into my guard,” he said. “I just had to stay in it.
“I train my jiu-jitsu just as much. Just because it’s City Kick Boxing, doesn’t mean we don’t train wrestling and jiu-jitsu. We put in the work and I just had to stay calm.
“I’ve been in the sport for so many years now, and once I felt that he couldn’t get the finish, it gave me confidence. I turned it around, hit him once with a nice right hook and I felt it land. Next time I sat down on it a little bit more and it was a Mark Hunt walkaway.”