Hunt To UFC For One Last Chance...Yes, Mark Hunt!

  1. Elite Member
    stxnas's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  195 lbs.
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Age
    33
    Posts
    9,986
    Rep Power
    986036
    Level
    68
    Lv. Percent
    70.47%
    Achievements Activity ProActivity AuthorityPosting ProPosting Authority

    Hunt To UFC For One Last Chance...Yes, Mark Hunt!


    Who saw this one coming? I definitely did not!

    by Jordan Breen (jbreen@sherdog.com)

    In a pair of high-top Air Jordans and matching basketball shorts, an unshaven, 290-pound Mark Hunt doesn't seem like any kind of combat sports star. Barely even a bouncer, really.

    "If I'd trained as hard as some of the guys out here, I probably wouldn't be sitting here right now," Hunt laments. "I'd be at a different level of fighting.

    "I just used up my time. I squandered it," he shrugs.

    Despite his nonchalance, he seems genuinely filled with regret.

    Hunt may have won the 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix and he may own MMA wins over Wanderlei Silva and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, but "The Oceania Super Fighter" hasn't won a fight of any kind in more than four years. He's racked up five straight MMA losses, and in an ignominious K-1 return in April 2008, he was knocked out by a spinning back kick to the guts from heavyweight kingpin Semmy Schilt.

    Yet, in spite of his recent failures, the 36-year-old Hunt will get one last chance for redemption, and on the biggest stage imaginable.

    The Octagon is seldom a home for 5-6 fighters. Nonetheless, the longtime K-1 and Pride star will make his UFC debut against unbeaten Sean McCorkle when the promotion rolls into Indianapolis on Sept. 25 for UFC 119.

    Hunt is aware how fragile his opportunity is.

    I ask if he was given the standard four-fight contract. "I'm not even sure on the contract," he responds. "It might be four fights, but I think I have to win my first one first, cause I haven't really been too successful lately."

    The fact that he's been given an opportunity at all is a puzzling one. There was a moment following Zuffa's purchase of Pride in 2007 that they were interested in bringing in Hunt, but given the surprisingly dynamic state of the UFC heavyweight division, and Hunt's age, high-profile failures and lack of dedication, one would figure that the moment had passed.

    UFC boss Dana White tweeted Thursday that Hunt was owed fights because of the company's purchase of Pride, despite the fact that the course of history showed us many of those contracts were non-transferable and thus unenforceable. However, Hunt himself is unwilling to divulge any deals.

    "I don't think I should say anything. I could get in trouble, you know? I'm not saying nothing," he smiles.

    "How active in the negotiation were you? Were you involved at all or was it strictly on your management?" I ask. Hunt squints his eyes at me.

    "You just changed the way you said the question, didn't you?" he laughs. "I'm still not answering."

    Well, fair enough. But that is only the first of two major questions surrounding Hunt's signing.

    "Now, your weight," I say.

    "You sayin' I'm fat? It doesn't look like, but I've got a lot of muscle under here." Hunt laughs.

    "I'm saying you're ... pretty Samoan," I answer. Whatever he may have lost competitively, Hunt certainly hasn't lost in the personality that made him a fan favorite in the first place.

    "I never had to make weight before. I never gave a damn what I ate. I've already stopped eating KFC, chocolate, that stuff," Hunt says. "I've got a personal trainer, never had one of them before. I'm not a big person, I'm only 5-foot-10 or something."

    Hunt says that he plans on using diet and training to slim all the way down below the 265-pound limit, roughly 25 pounds away from where he's at now. As of yet, he says he hopes he doesn't have to use the sauna, admitting, "I've never done that, either."

    The fact Hunt is paying mind at all to his training camp is a significant switch. There's a bizarre amount of naiveté in Hunt. His insights about training and preparation don't seem inattentive; they seem outright negligent, as if at no point in more than a decade as a prizefighter had he ever considered his training in any kind of philosophical way. When he tells me that it's "all about training," I ask what his old training camps were like. He simply tells me, "There wasn't any," shrugging, almost as if that were normal.

    There is some measure of irony in this explanation. After all, when Hunt made the leap to MMA almost seven years ago, he was seen as a great candidate to cross over from K-1 to MMA because of his toughness, work ethic be damned. His streetfighting background, his legendary ability to absorb blows to the face and his surprising athleticism for an obviously overweight man all seemed to bode better for success in this sport than some of his other K-1 contemporaries.

    "It's been two or three years of bad training for me. Not my training partners, but how hard I trained," Hunt confesses. "I'm looking to go overseas to train for the first time, to really get some good training partners. If I do things like I should do them, it shouldn't matter who I'm facing, ever."

    Hunt is undecided about where he's going to train abroad, though he did meet up with Josh Barnett and Erik Paulson at Impact FC's first card in Brisbane, Australia, and is looking to spend time in California at CSW. I can't say I know the man well enough to divine his truest thoughts, but if nothing else, he's explicitly aware of how little he's grown on the ground, and the necessity to rectify it.

    "It is what it is now. I wish I could change the way I did things now, but I'm here for a reason," says Hunt. "For me now, I know this is my last chance. I won a K-1 world title, then I fought MMA. I wanted to win, but I didn't have that drive to be a champion. I feel like now, I really want to be an MMA champion."

    It's hard to tell if it's truth, bluster, more naiveté or simply something someone with a sub-.500 record feels obligated to say before fighting in the UFC. Odd as it might be, we'll find out in September in Indianapolis if there's really been a sea change in the South Pacific.
    RcB Since 09-06-2011 20:55 EST, Post 49

  2. Senior Member
    bla55's Avatar
    Stats
    6'4"  235 lbs.
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    1,776
    Rep Power
    71175
    Level
    33
    Lv. Percent
    50.98%
    Achievements Activity ProPosting Pro

    Wow... That's it. Wow...
  3. Elite Member
    stxnas's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  195 lbs.
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Age
    33
    Posts
    9,986
    Rep Power
    986036
    Level
    68
    Lv. Percent
    70.47%
    Achievements Activity ProActivity AuthorityPosting ProPosting Authority

    I don't really get the upside in this for the UFC. Most current MMA fans probably don't even know of Mark Hunt or most of the guys that he's lost to. He's actually had some decent competition in MMA (despite a losing record). Maybe I'm missing something...like the X-Factor that comes along with the hype...not sure...I hope I'm wrong and Hunt makes a valiant return to combat sports!

    Does anybody know if this going to be a SHW bout? McCorkle and Hunt are both BIG dudes.
    RcB Since 09-06-2011 20:55 EST, Post 49
    •   
       

  4. TheTransforma
    Guest
    TheTransforma's Avatar

    Hunt and MMA? Don't give him a good change, kickboxing Yes, MMA No!
  5. Board Sponsor
    Rodja's Avatar
    Stats
    5'10"  230 lbs.
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Age
    30
    Posts
    23,745
    Rep Power
    1317333
    Level
    94
    Lv. Percent
    29.96%
    Achievements Activity RoyaltyActivity VeteranActivity ProActivity AuthorityPosting Pro

    It's HW. I'm still a big Hunt fan and it's nice to see a very talented striker in the UFC.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys
    Performax Labs Product Specialist

  6. Elite Member
    stxnas's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  195 lbs.
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Age
    33
    Posts
    9,986
    Rep Power
    986036
    Level
    68
    Lv. Percent
    70.47%
    Achievements Activity ProActivity AuthorityPosting ProPosting Authority

    Holy Crap. Both of these guys will have to cut down A LOT. I read that McCorkle walks into the ring around 310-320lbs!

    Hunt is big, but he's not usually in the greatest shape. Maybe this will help motivate him to get into "the best shape of his life."
    RcB Since 09-06-2011 20:55 EST, Post 49
  7. New Member
    junkyarddogzz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    382
    Rep Power
    261
    Level
    15
    Lv. Percent
    97.67%

    Quote Originally Posted by stxnas View Post
    I don't really get the upside in this for the UFC. Most current MMA fans probably don't even know of Mark Hunt or most of the guys that he's lost to. He's actually had some decent competition in MMA (despite a losing record). Maybe I'm missing something...like the X-Factor that comes along with the hype...not sure...I hope I'm wrong and Hunt makes a valiant return to combat sports!

    Does anybody know if this going to be a SHW bout? McCorkle and Hunt are both BIG dudes.
    they owed him fights when they bought out pride.
  8. Elite Member
    stxnas's Avatar
    Stats
    5'8"  195 lbs.
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Age
    33
    Posts
    9,986
    Rep Power
    986036
    Level
    68
    Lv. Percent
    70.47%
    Achievements Activity ProActivity AuthorityPosting ProPosting Authority

    Thanks. I guess that does shed a little light on the situation.

    Hopefully he's shows up in the best shape he is capable of being in and puts on a kickboxing clinic.
    RcB Since 09-06-2011 20:55 EST, Post 49
  9. Diamond Member
    VolcomX311's Avatar
    Stats
    5'10"  205 lbs.
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    13,250
    Rep Power
    78138
    Level
    70
    Lv. Percent
    66.38%
    Achievements Activity ProActivity AuthorityPosting ProPosting AuthorityPosting Veteran

    I'll root for him for nostalgic sake, but the HW division is a rough place for a pure puncher.
    NSCA - CSCS
  10. Senior Member
    bigwhiteguy29's Avatar
    Stats
    6'3"  233 lbs.
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,173
    Rep Power
    1515
    Level
    33
    Lv. Percent
    67.62%
    Achievements Activity ProPosting Pro

    I hope they put him against a striker haha
  

  
 

Similar Forum Threads

  1. A sinner scavenger hunt
    By thesinner in forum General Chat
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 07-25-2007, 07:04 AM
  2. Fedor vs. Hunt announced for NYE!
    By Alexander in forum MMA
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 12-04-2006, 11:53 PM
  3. THE STEROIDS WITCH HUNT
    By shootmeagain in forum News and Articles
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-13-2005, 02:47 AM
  4. The Steroid Witch Hunt in MLB
    By CEDeoudes59 in forum General Chat
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-13-2004, 10:05 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Log in
Log in