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Poplar's Hunter Azure gets back on winning track with win over Cole Smith

Posted at 5:49 PM, Sep 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 21:10:09-04

LAS VEGAS — Poplar native Hunter Azure got back in the winning column on Saturday evening as the 28-year-old defeated Cole Smith by unanimous decision on UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai in Las Vegas, Nevada in a bantamweight fight.

All three judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Azure.

Donning his Fort Peck Tribes flag before the fight, Azure, a four-time state wrestling champion at Poplar High School, utilized his wrestling while also showing his growth in the striking game to top Smith. Azure dominated the first two rounds before fending off Smith in the third round whose furious comeback attempt was unable to overcome the work Azure did in the first two rounds.

In the highlight of the fight, Azure knocked Smith down after a right-handed strike though Smith was able to hold off a finish attempt from Azure to stick around.

Azure landed five total takedowns including two in both the first and second rounds. He had 40 significant strikes compared to Smith's 21 and 55 total. Azure out-struck Smith 36-12 in the first round.

Azure improves to 9-1 in his professional MMA career and 2-1 in the UFC.