Mark Hunt Almost Turned Down Fight With ‘Bigfoot’
We’ve heard it time and time again: Fighter A doesn’t want to fight Fighter B, because they’re friends / training partners / came from the same neighborhood / part of the same breakdancing team / etc.
Some of those fighters stick to their refusal, right or wrong. But some understand that – although it may mean the end of a friendship or an uncomfortable training session down the road – they are paid to fight. Whether they know their opponent on a personal level or not.
Mark Hunt understands this fact of mixed martial arts. Even if it’s a hard pill to swallow, sometimes.
Case in point: Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva trains with Mark Hunt at American Top Team. And when they were both contacted about being in the main event for UFC Fight Night 33 on December 7th, Hunt initially tried to turn the UFC down.
“I declined the fight,” Hunt told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour. “I wanted a different opponent. I didn’t want to fight the fight because he’s an ATT member.”
“Not only that,” Hunt elaborated, “the same thing happened with Cheick Kongo. We worked together before. Like I said before, though, I’m an employee of the company. It’s just what we do for work. Business aside, we’ll still be friends, say hi, this and that. That’s the way it is.”
Thankfully for the UFC (and the fans), the “Super Samoan” has been conducting most of his camps in New Zealand as of late, and notes that it has been quite some time since he had sparred with “Bigfoot”, which played a major role in the decision to take the fight.
“It was a while ago. I’ve had my last four camps in New Zealand. It was a while ago,” Hunt recalled.