UFC Auckland’s main card kicked off with another great performance from Alex Volkanovski, as he dominated Mizuto Hirota for 15 minutes.
The UFC Auckland main card opener did not get off to a quick start, with the first strikes being attempted 30 seconds in by Mizuto Hirota. Hirota pushed forward with strikes again, but Volkanovski answered with a combo stamped by a head kick.
Volkanovski pushed Hirota against the cage but could not score a takedown. He did score with a right hook on the exit that dropped Hirota, and Volkanovski pounced for the finish. Volkanovski delivered heavy ground and pound, but somehow kept his wits, even in the crucifix. Hirota dove for a heel hook, but Volkanovski escaped and stood up.
Volkanovski landed a takedown, but Hirota bounced back up quickly. Hirota was completely recovered from the early onslaught, and began to land some of his own shots. Volkanovski kept momentum on his side with another successful takedown, but Hirota used the fence to stand up. Volkanovski did not let him rest, landing a crisp spinning elbow. Volkanovski consistently landed a few more overhand rights before the round closed, a testament to Hirota’s chin.
Volkanovski came out fast in the second round, landing another knockdown with a spinning back elbow against the fence. Hirota bounced back to his feet quickly, but found himself on his back soon after following a takedown. Hirota landed a two-punch combination, but Volkanovski’s pressure was great, scoring a takedown after a head kick.
Hirota again stood up quickly, then nearly got Volkanovski to his back before a nice sweep from the Australian. Volkanovski landed yet another overhand right, but Hirota took it like a champ.
Volkanovski’s round three kept his momentum going. More overhand rights landed with consistency, including a takedown. Volkanovski slipped after a Hirota punch, but bounced back to his feet without an issue. Hirota was able to withstand the third round strikes and then came back with a combination of his own late. He pulled out all the stops to make a late comeback, but Volkanovski shut it down with takedown defense and more strong punches.
Alex Volkanovski pushed his record to 15-1 with a dominant 30-27 score from each three judges. He also offered to fight “all the bad boys” for Dana White and Sean Shelby.