Sonny Bill Williams suffered a huge upset defeat at the hands of 48-year-old retired UFC fighter, Mark Hunt.
Williams, who played rugby union for the All Blacks, went into the bout heavy favourite and with an undefeated record. He controlled most of the action against the unorthodox Hunt up until a big right hand changed the course of the fight in the fourth. Hunt capitalised and swarmed his opponent. William’s ultimately took a knee as the referee waved it off.
Mark Hunt has just knocked out Sonny Bill Williams and taken away his undefeated professional record🤯
THIS MANS 48..
— Ben Thomas (@Benfthomas_10) November 5, 2022
Hunt has been out of the ring for two years, his latest fight being a unanimous decision loss to another former rugby player in Paul Gallen. This win over Williams means he hangs up the gloves with a record of 1-2-1. It provides a fairytale ending to a career that has spanned kickboxing, mixed martial arts, boxing, and wrestling. After his victory, he said it was a perfect way to bow out.
“I’m smiling not because of the win, but I’m smiling because this is the last time I walked into a ring of combat of any sorts. My first thought after was ‘s*** I want to do that again!’, but no [I won’t fight again].”
Meanwhile, Williams went on to credit his opponent before also considering retirement.
“Full credit to Mark and his team. They came with a good game plan, and I just didn’t stick to mine. I got into the Samoan slangin’ match and that’s what happened- got knocked out.”
“For me, what’s in the future? I’m not too sure. At this stage, I’m not even sure if I’ll fight again. It could be it for me, too. But we’ll see how the next couple of weeks unfold.”
The fight was Williams’ tenth, and marks the first loss of his career.