When UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt made his Octagon debut in 2010 and lost to Sean McCorkle, “The Super Samoan” was essentially written off by everyone. After all, the stumble was his sixth straight.
The 38-year old Hunt (who celebrates his birthday next weekend) has since gone on to win four straight scraps including knockouts of Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve. As a result, Hunt is on the cusp of contendership and could capture it with an impressive victory over Junior dos Santos at UFC 160.
Hunt spoke some about Dos Santos in a recent interview with The MMA Hour where expressed excitement about the May 25 match-up, hope that the Brazilian bomber will engage him in a stand-up scrap, and general confidence about his ability to defeat any challenge put in front of him.
“Opportunities very rarely come, and as a fighter, fighting has come a second time around for me. I won the world title already as a K-1 fighter. I lost interest in fighting and then mixed martial arts came. And this is just another opportunity for me to prove, to be a part of the best fighters in the league,” explained the grateful Hunt. “Junior was the world champion before he lost to Cain Velasquez, and the opportunity is here. I’m so amped about it. I’m so pumped.”
Hunt knows Dos Santos has some BJJ in his arsenal but still expects “Cigano” to strike with him based on past performances. And, though JDS may have some of the division’s best boxing, Hunt is understandably comfortable with the prospect of facing it given his own power and ability to take a punch.
“He’s like me. He likes to stand there and bang,” said Hunt. “I’d like to test his mettle. He was the best fighter in the world, and I consider myself the best fighter in the world. I class my striking really highly and so does he.”
Hunt has finished six of his nine opponents in MMA with strikes. Likewise, Dos Santos owns eleven TKOs in fifteen total victories.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC