Earlier this week, we learned that UFC heavyweight contender Mark Hunt had been pulled from his UFC Sydney headlining bout with Marcin Tybura, and replaced my Fabricio Werdum. Initially, the reason for Hunt’s withdrawal from this fight wasn’t evident. Eventually, however, it became clear that the UFC had removed him from the bout over “medical concerns” stemming from an article he wrote, during which he talked about slurring his words and his willingness to die fighting.
“Following a recent first-person article published by UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt, UFC has taken the precautionary steps of removing Hunt from a previously announced bout in Sydney, Australia,” a statement issued to News.com.au said. “The health-related statements made by Hunt in the article represent the first time UFC was made aware of these claims. Athlete health and safety is of the utmost importance to the organization and it would never knowingly schedule an athlete complaining of health issues for a fight. The organization will require that Hunt undergo further testing and evaluations prior to competing in any future UFC bout.”
Initially, Hunt was furious about this development, hitting the UFC and its president Dana White with several profanity-ridden social media posts.
Since then, however, he has taken a more diplomatic approach, assuring that his recent comments were taken out of context, that he doesn’t slur, and that he has no real memory loss.
“I spent hours the other day with the doctors I was cleared to fight,” Hunt said on Instagram. “The interview I did with Players Voice was misquoted. I don’t slur my words, and [it] is a is a running joke between my wife and me my memory isn’t that great, but who remembers shit they don’t want to.”
Do you think Mark Hunt should have been kept on the UFC Sydney bill, or did the UFC make the right choice?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/11/2017.