UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt’s four-fight run in the Octagon has been one of the great stories of the past few years considering his age, overall record, and that the initial opportunity came as the result of his desire to honor an old contract instead of taking a buyout to walk away. However, his tale didn’t necessarily have a happy ending, as Hunt was stopped with strikes last weekend in a co-headlining clash with Junior dos Santos at UFC 160.
At 39, and as an undersized heavyweight who specializes in a single area, it’s unlikely Hunt will be around for more than another year or so before either retiring or ending up on the chopping block. As such, it’s important to capitalize on Hunt’s popularity and heavy hands by booking him in a particular manner. He doesn’t need to be handed top contenders by any means but rather competitors who are both interesting match-ups stylistically and produce the potential for a fan-friendly effort come fight-time.
Here are three solid options for the “Super Samoan” who should all be available by the time Hunt returns from his broken toe…
Duffee’s physique is pretty much the polar opposite of Hunt’s but his approach to action isn’t nearly as different. He loves to throw bombs and has the power to render any foe into a puddle of goo. All of his wins have come by way of knockout, so pitting Duffee against Hunt would almost certainly get the public going even if it would have zero impact on the contendership picture.
Mir certainly has the takedowns/submissions to give Hunt trouble but he’s also got a questionable jaw. Though Mir is great on the ground, he also doesn’t mind striking or working in the clinch, so there’s always a chance he could get cocky and then cold-cocked. Regardless, the bout would make for a meeting where the individual able to impose his will would likely score a stoppage, plus the name-value involved would be at home on any PPV card.
This pairing is almost too perfect to not put together at some point in the future. Like Hunt, “HD” is a relatively small heavyweight with iron hands and a kickboxing background. Though Barry is currently booked against Shawn Jordan at UFC 161, the card takes place on June 15 meaning his availability in six months shouldn’t be an issue.