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UFC's Hunt, Kelly to fight in Auckland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/03/2017 Warren Barnsley

Australian Olympian Daniel Kelly will look to extend his UFC winning streak to five when he faces American Derek Brunson in New Zealand on June 11.

The Kelly-Brunson middleweight bout is on the undercard to Australia-based heavyweight Mark Hunt's long-awaited return to his hometown of Auckland, to fight No.6 ranked Derrick Lewis.

Hunt returned to the octagon this month in a loss to Alistair Overeem after a 10-month self-imposed exile, in protest against the UFC's perceived leniency for doping cheats.

The 43-year-old is suing the UFC after former opponent Brock Lesnar tested positive to a banned substance.

Hunt, who's ranked seventh in UFC heavyweight standings, faces a tough encounter against 33-year-old American Lewis, whose record stands at 18 wins, including his last six fights, and four losses.

Judoka Kelly, who has represented Australia at four Olympics, most recently beat Rashad Evans in Las Vegas on March 4 after wins over Chris Camozzi, Antonio Carlos and Steve Montgomery.

His record stands at 12-1, while opponent Brunson has lost his last two bouts, against former long-time champion Anderson Silva and Australian star Robert Whittaker, for a record of 16-5.

Other Australian fighters on the card are flyweights Ben Nguyen and UFC newcomer Ashkan Mokhtarian.

Nguyen (16-6) has a tough ask against perennial contender Joseph Benavidez (25-4) while Mokhtarian has been matched with former title challenger John Moraga.

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