MARK Hunt's last chance at fighting for UFC gold again seem slim to none after the 43-year old was beaten by Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221 in Perth.
It was a frustrating fight for "The Super Samoan" - he dropped Blaydes twice in an action-packed first round, and had the chance to finish things early but wasn't able to close things out.
Hunt's leaping left hook found the mark twice, and Blaydes was only moments away from being finished.
A well-time takedown allowed Blaydes to recover, and from that point he was in total control.
Blaydes recovered well in the second and third, dominating the fight with his superior size and wrestling.
The American landed a career-best 10 takedowns during the fight and was awarded a unanimous decisions victory (30-26, 30-26 and 30-27) amid a torrent of boos from the Perth crowd.
The loss leaves Hunt on the outside looking in at the top of the UFC heavyweight rankings.
With his contract expiring in the near future and having already expressed a desire to leave the UFC, Hunt's time as a top challenger look all but over.
It's just his second defeat on Australian soil, following on from his TKO defeat to Stipe Miocic in 2015.
It was far from an entertaining performance from Blaydes, but it was smart, well-executed and polished performance.
The crowd made their displeasure known, fiercely jeering Blaydes through the second and third rounds.
Blaydes shook off the hate, calling "Keep booing me!" to the crowd as the siren sounded after the third round.
The 26-year old is one of the top prospects in the heavyweight division, and showed remarkable strength to hit Hunt with some hellacious slams in the later rounds.
With one more impressive victory, he could be a title challenger for the winner of the Miocic-Daniel Cormier superfight in July.