Alistair Overeem is on the road to redemption in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Overeem responded to a knockout loss to heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic last September with a knockout of heavy-handed, strong-willed Mark Hunt in the opening bout of the main card of UFC 209 at the T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, Saturday night.
Throughout the fight, Overeem was the more active and accurate fighter, landing 59 of his 76 overall strikes, 55 of which were considered significant, according to FightMetric, while Hunt landed only 29 punches, kicks and knees during the duration of the bout.
After absorbing a brutal elbow in the clinch early in the third round, Overeem disengaged from the dirty boxing in the middle of The Octagon, turned his back to Hunt, ran away and regrouped before again locking up with his opponent. Then, Overeem got Hunt against the cage where the Dutchman, known for his kickboxing success, began peppering his opponent with knees to the body.
A final knee to the head from Overeem dropped Hunt and the referee called a stop to the bout at the 3:17 mark of the third round.
The No. 3 ranked heavyweight in the UFC, Overeem improved to 41-15-0 with one no contest after the 21st knockout win of his nearly two-decade career in mixed martial arts, while Hunt fell to 12-11-1 overall and has now lost three of his last six fights, all by knockout.