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Mark Hunt: “I think people like to see a good Rocky story.”

Two years ago Mark Hunt wasn’t even supposed to be in the UFC. Today he’s on the cusp of receiving a title-shot.

The strange journey of Hunt began when Zuffa acquired PRIDE where the 38-year old had made a name for himself with a slew of entertaining bouts against the likes of Mirko Filipovic, Wanderlei Silva, and Fedor Emelianenko. Though the company was willing to buy out his contract, letting him walk with salary, the proud New Zealander preferred to honor the deal and made his Octagon debut instead. Though he lost the match-up, he won his next outing with a brutal knockout to set up the three-fight run he’s currently on that was capped off in February with a beautiful finish of Cheick Kongo.

With Alistair Overeem likely out of a May 26 title-fight with Junior dos Santos due to a failed drug test, Hunt has now become the unlikely candidate of an underground movement to see him fill the probable vacancy. The push was given even more steam when UFC President Dana White removed Frank Mir from the equation by stating he’d face Cain Velasquez as expected, thus leaving Hunt in a very enviable spot.

“I think people like to see an underdog in there,” said Hunt on The MMA Show when asked about the online movement to see him get a crack at Dos Santos’ belt. “I wasn’t even wanted in the UFC, put it that way. And here we are talking about me having a title shot. Two years ago you’d have laughed at the thought. I think people like to see a good Rocky story.”

If by some strange stroke of fortune Hunt is given an opportunity to face Dos Santos he’s also confident he can pull off the upset, paying homage the fans who would have potentially helped him get the shot.

“I match-up good against anyone, so of course I feel like I match-up good against him,” explained Hunt of the Brazilian champion. “The people that think I don’t have a chance against anybody on this planet, they are certainly mistaken. But it’s good to be underestimated. I like to be the underdog. I don’t have a chance. That’s great, it gives me more drive, more fire.”

Hunt is currently scheduled to face Stefan Struve at UFC 146 where Dos Santos-Overeem is still set as the headliner until Overeem’s status is resolved with the NSAC on April 24.


  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    IF Hunt really gets the title shot, he has a punchers chance. If the stars align just right and he lands a punch just right…

    Nah JDS is younger, stronger, faster and will likely turn his face into hamburger if it lasts that long but, it would be a nice feel good story until Hunt woke up with the ringside doctors asking him if he knows where he is or what day it is.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    JDS has the skills to light Hunt up, but I doubt he could put Hunt down unless he pops him behind the ear.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I hope they put Hunt in there, remember nobody thought he could walk through Kongo either. Hunt has so muck kickboxing experience that that alone should make for a great fight, not to mention the fact that if it isnt Mir who else would step in? And Dana said that Mir vs Cain would happen but he didnt say when it would happen, so dont be surprised to see Mir vs JDS after the Oveereem hearing.

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  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    If it is Mir he needs a better game plan than he had against Carwin, which was let him hit me in the face till his arms get tired. I’m secretly hoping Overeem pulls out the hail mary and gets his fight license and the fight takes place as originally booked.

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  • JabCrossHook says:

    Anyone who thinks Hunt has just a punchers chance in the stand up department doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    Did you see that moving backwards lead hook Hunt dropped Kongo with right before the finish?
    That was a perfectly timed counter, JDS likes to charge forward with combinations, Hunt has the skills to capitalize.

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  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    If this remains a stand up fight I think Hunt has a 80% chance of winning. JDS has not faced a guy like Hunt and his performance against a pathetic Crocop and a pathetic Nelson tells me that Hunt would be the more likely fighter to walk away with the win if it is decided on the feet by TKO/KO but if he mixes it up Hunt may struggle.
    If he faces Hunt and its a good fight (not just 5 punces and a finish) and JDS walks away with a win via stand up I will be with the JDS fans but I have not seen anything yet that tells me that JDS is the stand up monster that many make him out to be. Imho there are many people on this planet that would outstrike JDS easily just like with Chuck there was always better strikers, with Ortiz there were always better wrestlers etc.

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    remember Mark Hunt taking Ray Sefo’s punches square on his jaw with his hands down while screaming at him. that was one of the greatest moments in combat sport history
    blocking punches with your Samoan scream is fucking hardcore man

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  • Lord Faust says:

    The Sefo fight is the stuff of legend. I highly recommend EVERYONE watch it at least once.

    Whether they throw him in to the title fight or not, Hunt has always been an entertaining fighter with a granite chin.

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  • How well he did against a pathetic cro cop and a pathetic Nelson? Cro cop maybe, Nelson? WTF are you on Logic? You’ll sit here and call those two pathetic but you wont admit Fedor is washed up? Makes no sense.

    The TKOs of everyone except Shane Carwin(which should’ve been stopped in the first)and Roy Nelson(who isnt human) The solid go to sleep KO of Werdum off ONE punch? The complete outstriking and decimation of EVERY opponent he’s faced in the octagon doesnt make you think that JDS is the monster people make him out to be…yet hunt has an 80% to win this fight because he knocked out Chieck Kongo and hasnt fought a decent HW other than him since….? There’s no Logic in your reasoning. Junior is as good of a boxer as Hunt, he just doesnt have the world stage exposure.
    And if it hits the ground lets not forget this IS the guy that just got tapped by Sean McCorckle a mere two years ago.

    and I wont even bring up the obvious cardio issue if it makes it past the first.

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  • Niv says:

    Well I would love to see this match-up as we know it would be a stand up war. Hunt has genuine knock out power and a granite chin, I’d give Hunt a very good chance at upsetting the champ here. However, I would definitely bet on JDS retaining his title here.

    I hope it happens as this has the potential to be a very exciting fight, styles make fights and these two are tailor made for each other, kinda Overeem vs JDS light though.

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  • Rece Rock says:

    thumbs up superdave

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  • MCM says:

    I don’t think this would be a stand up war. JDS took down Carwin with relative ease and given Hunts complete lack of ground game, I don’t see why JDS wouldn’t just shoot the double out the gate and lock up the sub in under 30 sec.

    I know Hunt is a fan favorite, but he’s not far removed form a 6 fight losing streak (all finishes in the first round). I’d rather see him against another granite chinned brawler like Nelson. That’s a more competitive and interesting fight IMO.

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