The UFC's first trip to New Zealand is done and dusted, with it turing out to be a great card all-round.
UFC Fight Night 43 took place in the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. The event featured a middleweight headliner as former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate Marquardt took on former light-heavyweight contender James Te Huna in what turned out to be an exciting battle.
"The Great" was first to draw blood, dropping Te Huna with a crushing knee straight to the head. Marquardt was then able to reverse a takedown attempt to put him in top position where he began to reign down some heavy shots. The New Zealander stuck in there and got up to put together some shots of his own but it didn't last as he was taken down and submitted with a slick armbar.
The win was much needed for Marquardt who avoids losing his forth-straight fight. Te Huna will have to go back to the drawing board because he's now lost his last three.
Jared Rosholt turned out to be just too good for the experienced Soa Palelei in the night's co-main event. "The Big Show" completely dominated "The Hulk" from start to finish using his wrestling prowess to control the fight. Palelei seemed to be surprised by Rosholt who was nearly able to get the finish in the second after dropping the 36-year old with some powerful uppercuts.
With the win Rosholt moves to 3-0 in his UFC career and looks to be a bright contender. Palelei drops his second fight and loses his eleven-fight winning streak.
In the featherweight division, Charles Oliveira shot himself into contender status by submitting Hatsu Hioki, for the first time in his career, with a smooth arm-in guillotine choke after nearly two rounds of back-and-forth grappling action. "Do Bronx" is now on a two-fight winning streak in the weight class after tapping Andy Ogle in his last fight.
The lightweights kicked off the main card as Robert Whittaker took on Mike "Biggie" Rhodes in what turned out to be a completely one-sided affair. Whittaker outclassed Rhodes on the feet for three straight rounds to pick up his first win in 2014 and snap a two-fight losing streak.
UFC Fight Night 43 Main Card Results:
Robert Whittaker def. Mike Rhodes via unanimous decision
Charles Oliveira def. Hatsu Hioki via submission (D'arce choke) - Round 2 4:32
Jared Rosholt def. Soa Palelei via unanimous decision.
Nate Marquardt def. James Te Huna via submission (armbar) - Round 1 4:34