Hunt denies turning down JDS fight, jokes that former champ is not "some sort of killer"
Mark Hunt wants a fight with former champion Junion dos Santos
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
*Update: 3:20 pm (AEST) UFC President Dana White tweeted the following message this afternoon. Maybe Mark Hunt will get the fight after all?
UFC President Dana White was hounded by Mark Hunt supporters on social media before lashing out at one of the troops stating that the New Zealand-born Aussie turned down the UFC 160 co-feature against Junior dos Santos. The heavyweight power-puncher however, denies this claim.
“I said yes to the fight (with Junior dos Santos) but if that’s what Dana (White) said then that’s what he said.” Hunt told MMA Kanvas.
Alistair Overeem was originally slated to meet dos Santos at UFC 160, but a torn quadriceps muscle forced the former Strikeforce heavyweight champ to sit on the sideline, opening the door for Hunt to step in.
“I did tweet him and said "I hope everything goes alright with the surgery", because it’s a sad thing, we give our lives out there.”
Hunt continued; “Of course I feel bad, but at the same time, that’s what we were training to do, to maim each other (laughs). This is the hurt business and he got me a few times too and he’s a tough guy and he’ll bounce back stronger than ever.”
Meeting the recently dethroned UFC heavyweight champion dos Santos in the Octagon is a tall task for any fighter, doing it on short notice would be an even stiffer challenge. However, Hunt feels he would be ready to jump that hurdle:
“You guys talk like he’s some sort of killer. I’ve been fighting at the top level my whole career mate; I haven’t been fighting for ten years in the beginner’s class.”
He continued; “I’ve got no injuries, of course I could be ready.”
Hunt’s resurgence to become a top ten heavyweight is a remarkable tale. The UFC reluctantly took him into their promotion after choosing to honour his PRIDE contract after buying the promotion in 2007.
He was considered overpaid and only there to fulfil his agreed fights before getting the boot. Hunt had other plans, winning his past four fights, a winning streak that is the longest of any active fighter in the UFC’s heavyweight division. The big man credits his faith in Christ for his resurrection in the cage:
“I was born in a Mormon church and I was forced to go to church (as a kid). Through my whole life I had a belief that something was watching over me. I let my faith in God take over. It’s my faith in the almighty that has changed my life and my fighting career.”
Steadily the former K-1 world grand prix champion has defied the odds and silenced the naysayers but concedes that he doesn’t really care what they think:
“I don’t have nothing to prove (to my detractors) because I’m still winning (laughs). If they want to think that I can’t play on the ground they can think that, who cares what they say.”
He continued; “It doesn’t even matter to me where I am (in the rankings), it never really has.”
What happens next in Hunt’s career is uncertain at this point, but the "Super Somoan" is looking to get back in the cage as soon as possible and put together an unforgettable 2013 campaign.
OFFICIAL HEALTH SPONSOR
MORE ARTICLES YOU'LL LIKE
TUF girls: Australia's Bec Hyatt and Alex Chambers chase women's UFC title
Video: Jon Jones, Frank Mir engage in mock fight in Russian bar
UFC Johnson vs. Benavidez II fight card and headlines
UFC Johnson vs. Benavidez II live results and blog
An open letter to 'Buzz' Rothfield
Lombard plans to KO 'boring' Shields at UFC 171, get the title, then fight Bisping
1Carnage at UFC Brisbane: Hunt, Andrews lead injury fallout
2Mark Hunt suffers ‘broken hand, broken face’ in epic draw at UFC Brisbane
3Mark Hunt and Antonio Silva battle though five-round UFC epic, share the spoils
4UFC Brisbane: Hunt vs. Bigfoot live weigh-in results
5UFC Brisbane: Hunt vs. Bigfoot full results and analysis