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Monday, 04/09/2012, 05:52 pm

The rally for Mark Hunt – A true underdog story


By Lewis Mckeever:
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few days, I’m sure you’re currently aware of the Mark Hunt situation; the rally for Mark Hunt and his quest for UFC gold. Hunt has been trending on twitter, building an online army of dedicated troops, smashing through Facebook polls and most importantly, smashing through the UFC’s heavyweight division.

Whilst all logic and rationale point towards a Frank Mir/Junior Dos Santos match up, in an interesting twist of events, it’s looking increasingly likely that the “Super Samoan” will square off against the UFC’s heavyweight kingpin Dos Santos as a potential replacement for Alistair Overeem. *WARNING*, this isn’t about logic or rationale; this is about the imagining and unfolding of one of the most captivating underdog stories in mixed martial arts history.

It started off as just a minuscule, cult like legion of Hunt enthusiasts on a mission to fast track their idol into title contention and has progressed and developed into somewhat of an online phenomenon. As the old saying goes; all great journeys begin with a single step. In just a few days Mark Hunt has garnered a militia of seven thousand plus followers on twitter, that number growing and multiplying each passing day. If you’re not overly familiar with the career of Mark Hunt, you may very well be perched in your chair scratching your head at this point, wondering what all of the fuss is about. Allow me to elaborate.

Numbers and statistics don’t tell a story, if you just want to look at the figures then you’ll never come to terms with Mark Hunt being granted a UFC title shot, you’ll never have an understanding of legendary hall of famer Randy Couture’s career. There’s much more to Mark Hunt than an underwhelming 8-7 MMA resume.

Hunt has been the underdog throughout his entire combat sports career. He was never set to win the K-1 world grand prix, never destined to become a champion, never supposed to put a screeching halt to Wanderlei Silvas reign of terror in Pride, never even have thought to compete in the UFC, but here he is. Here Mark Hunt stands, at 5 ft 10 inches tall, 264 pounds, ready to defy all odds and rewrite the history books once again.

The highlights of Mark Hunt’s rollercoaster of a career are no doubt his spectacular 2001 K-1 world grand prix victory and his back to back wins against Croatian cop; Mirko Filipović and Pride sensation; Wanderlei Silva. It’s also worth noting that the proud Samoan is the only man to ever simply shrug off the legendary Mirko Crocop left high cemetery kick, not once, but twice. Surviving two Mirko high kicks alongside absorbing a ludicrous amount of punishment throughout his emphatic kick boxing career (most notably his heart stopping bout against fellow Aussie Ray Sefo, which featured Mark Hunt dropping his hands, sticking his chin out in the air and simply allowing Sefo to hit him with his best shots) has earned him quite the reputation amongst fans worldwide.

Whilst folk are quick to critique Hunt’s reputation and focus on his seven MMA losses, it’s important to analyse those defeats and look beyond the numbers. Mark Hunt hasn’t been losing against your run of the mill fighters. Mark has suffered setbacks against some of the most prestigious and elite household names in the sport; the enigmatic Russian, Fedor Emelianenko at the peak of his career, a rampant Gegard Mousasi who was riding an 11 fight winning streak, Heavyweight juggernaut Alistair Overeem and powerhouse catch wrestler Josh Barnett. Four of those seven losses come against a who’s who in the world of mixed martial arts and it’s imperative to note that all of them are resilient grapplers, all of whom submitted Mr Hunt. This leads me to my next point.

Styles make fights. Heavyweight titan Junior Dos Santos is not a submission based grappler, although he trains under BJJ all-star Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, “Cigano” has not demonstrated any real submission grappling skills to date. His take down defence and defensive wrestling have proven to be top notch, but we have yet to see Dos Santos on the ground for any real extended period of time. Therefore, it’s unlikely to suggest that Junior would overwhelm Hunt in the grappling department. Another key note is that Mark Hunt has shown progressive improvement throughout his current three fight winning streak in the UFC, especially in the field of grappling. Most notable in his fight against Ben Rothwell, where Hunt was close to pulling off what seemed to be the impossible, securing an arm bar and locking up his first submission victory. His casual knock out of the always intimidating Cheick Kongo was also highly impressive, Hunt now being one of two men to stop Kongo via strikes.

Let’s also not forget that one of the primary reasons Alistair Overeem challenging for the title was such an enticing match up was because he is a K-1 world champion. Why not trade one for the other? Mark Hunt is a proven world class kickboxer, possessing an array of brutal knock out power, excellent timing, deceptively quick hands and a cast iron chin.

I ask you, the fans, to disregard your logic and rationality for this one and to just embrace the inner MMA fan boy in us all. Sit back, relax and get lost in one of the greatest Cinderella man story’s in mixed martial arts today.

comments

62 Comments to The rally for Mark Hunt – A true underdog story

  1. Chuck says:

    public doesn’t want Hunt, sorry to ruin your propaganda party. I have nothing against the guy, and he is on a 3 fight win streak, but looking at the big picture, how would it look for such a young sport with a guy thats 8-7 in MMA to fight for the title? What bothers me is that Overeem is dragging his feet on the matter, which doesn’t give JDS’s real opponent more time to train.Im sure UFC has someone they just havent announced, but worst case is they don’t and the replacement gets less than a month to train.

    • SmoothAssNigga says:

      But Brock was perfect for a title shot at the time right? Fuck outta here bum. Mark Hunt would be the best striker Junior has face in the ufc yet.

      • Chuck says:

        I never said anything about Brock, stop trying to put words in peoples mouths. But lets look at when Brock got the shot, the level of talent was no where near where it is today. Arlovski and Sylvia were on top, and even Dana said that was a dark time for the HW division. Not to take away from Couture, but Sylvia is a clown, and they really didn’t have anyone else with the talent or the draw. UFC has a much larger stable now than they did back that. Btw, keep cursing, just shows how much of a child you are.

        • allmightysandman says:

          good for your for not stooping to that guys level.

          Hunt does not deserve a title shot and shouldn’t get one…anyone other his real die hard fans likely think that too.

          it makes no sense to “disregard logic” as the t.s. says to do…this is a bit of a fantasy story that should not go anywhere. IMHO i don’t think he deserves the fight against Mir either…but it does make a little more sense.

        • john says:

          who deserves a title shot then??? mir??? cain??? no one wants to see mir, cocky fucker has no chin and i guarantee he aint gonna take jds down!!!!! and cain just lost!!!! and the public does want to see mark hunt i read more comments about wanting to see hunt get the title shot than anybody else even joe rogan wants hunt!!!

        • joensy says:

          mirr would get killed …anytime mirr is in there with a puncher he gets ko,d//it was total lucky that nog went for sub and did not just pound him out …but jds would take mirr out faster then carwin did….who deserves a shot??? the only guy who makes sense is really mark hunt…he would not defend the title many times due to his ground game..but this would be great match up…and u idiot u have no right to say who the die hard fans are…and actually the die hard fans would be the ones saying hunt should get a shot cuz they seen all he did in pride…the guys like u who are only ufc fans and not mma fans dont know shit unless it happen in ufc or dana tells u….you and chuck are total idiots..

        • Gremlin says:

          Are you retarded? Brock didn’t fight for the title while Arlovski or Big Tim Sylvia were even in the UFC.

          Check your timeline – maybe you were thinking of someone else? Or you don’t have a clue what you are talking about and just wanted to hear yourself talk?

        • Chuck says:

          you mean UFC 81 Lesner vs Mir? Vera vs Syliva was on the same card. UFC 82 Arlovski vs O’Brien? Also, I never said it wouldn’t be an interesting fight, I would love a stand up fight, I’m just making the point that it would be a hard sell to John Q Public and with the UFC being on a bigger stage with the Fox agreement, they are gonna need someone that looks more legit than a guy that is 8-7 in MMA.
          And Joe, lets compare MLS to the Euro leagues, had Tim Howard stayed in MLS, people would still say he is a good player, but that if he never took the big stage how good was he really?. You can’t deny that the UFC is the big show in MMA, what the NFL is to the CFL with football. Every fighter outside the UFC wonder how well they would do in the UFC.

    • freak says:

      8-7 but also an ex k1 champion, which is more than what a lot of other fighters have on their resume

    • Rod says:

      I’d love to see that fight.

    • Kawikthegeek says:

      Chuck you kook. Stop analysing shit. Let us have our banger war. It’s about dam time.

      -mma fan boy

    • Calvin says:

      Overeerm isnt doing shit cuz he has never given excuses in his career so he probably wont deny anything i dont get why people are bitching that hes not talking whats there to talk about he got busted 2 LITERALLY AFTER this whole article said not to use logic or bring up his record you comment about his record YOU ARE RETARDED

      • Calvin says:

        The only other opponent that could make sense is the GP winner but thats like a week before ufc 146 and thats a last min switch even if they warned the fighters its the fans who need to know more they are buying tickets and everything

  2. Steve says:

    Mark Hunt and Ray Sefo are from New Zealand. As an Australian, I’ll happily claim them as ours, but much like Russell Crowe and James Te Huna they ain’t ;)

    • all blacks says:

      attack of the killer kiwi

    • jc says:

      he lives in Australia and has trained most of career in australia i think that would make him an australian fighter.

      • Isaac says:

        Thank you so much for this, as a New zealander, reading that was a bit of a sting, ray sefo and mark hunt fight out of australia becuase new zealand hasn’t caught up far enough to support enough top quality fighters. and were just small. post fight interview after sydney ufc showed danas opinion on that. though holding back from that go Mark hunt, maybe not a title fight yet but keep on going like u are and work the grappling game more and more.

  3. BloodyElbow says:

    Styles make fights

    K1 champ swap

    #RallyForMarkHunt

    the time is right. JDS has also stated that he wants to stand with / try and box / KO whomever he fights

    I think Hunt has the tools to make him eat his words, and the ability to also keep the fight standing when JDS changes his mind

  4. Robby says:

    Give it to Hendo. He’s gotta wait on the LHW winner anyways.

  5. chur says:

    they from new zealand not ozzy

  6. Dick Diaz says:

    the UFC is a bit political in their agenda. they’re not going to be seen as anything else than the best. this is evident by everyone’s records inside and outside of the UFC. dudes come in on long ass win streaks and then get straight losses in the UFC… how would it look if Mark Hunt had the gold and yet has a loss to Fedor… (who the UFC hates)

  7. Jared says:

    Both Mark Hunt and Ray Sefo are from New Zealand. NOT Australia!!!

  8. Mr Rarere says:

    Hunt and Sefo are both Kiwi (NZ) Samoans. Tell them they’re Aussies to their face if you want yours rearranged.

    • AJ says:

      He’s an Aussie Citizen now right? So he’s Aussie, He has a house in the Campbelltown Area and has been there for years…….and I’ve met Mark Hunt in person, in fact he was a regular at a place I used to own….he’s a polite person who wouldn’t take offence to any such comment…..So yeah, no face re-arranging from him so stop talking like a clown, you can rep more than one country you know. Look at all the Brazilian/American fighters.

      • all blacks says:

        i think the comment from Mr Rarere wasn’t meant to be taken too seriously. Hunt wouldn’t turn into Temuera Morrison from the NZ flick, ‘once were warriors’, and cave a guys face in. he saves that for the cage payments. what Rarere is conveying is how kiwis will typically be mistaken for aussies, and vice versa. of course, there is a strong sporting rivalry between the two countries (go figure), especially with regards to rugby, which is can also be violent. So, rugby and sports fans can get insulted when mistaken for their rivals. This also happens all over the world with regards to football (soccer). remember the hooliganism in the UK?
        btw, this is a combat sport board and folks will talk smack, so get over it. i don’t like idiots much either, but don’t take shit talking too seriously or personally.

  9. Ash Brogan says:

    How’s about Frank moves up to face JDS, And Hunt replaces Frank to take on Cain. Just saying

  10. shynel says:

    i want to see hunt
    stunn .

  11. Sick Brah says:

    Its a dream match up,
    I’d bet on Hunt taking it too (via KO, he;d lose a decision).

    But probs won’t happen cos of that and Hunt wouldn’t be marketable for future fights (although would probs lose to Mir or Cain)

  12. McLovin says:

    I think Mir deserves it more. There’s no reason Mark can’t fight the winner of that fight. Provided he beats Struve. It wouldn’t be in the UFC’s best interest or the fans to loose another fight off that card.

  13. RallyforHunt says:

    Mark Hunt is from New Zealand… ORIGINALLY… sick of people saying “derp he is from new zealand.” He fights out of Australia… So chances are he is probably an Australian citizen! Therefore, I, along with I would bet many other Australians are happy to claim him!

  14. JD says:

    “Alistair is a K1 champion, why not trade one for another?”

    Crocop also sent hunt to the hospital in K1. Why not put crocop in there?

  15. Proud Samoan says:

    Randy Couture didnt have the best record either but look at him, a UFC Hall of Famer.stop hating on Mark Hunt win or lose he will give JDS a run for his title

  16. Jorge Rocha says:

    what he did to deserve this fight?

  17. Ryan kelly says:

    I’d like to see that fight

  18. -JGC- says:

    WAR HUNT…….man people saying public doesnt want JDS V HUNT…..
    the public doesnt know what the fuck they want…ref stoppages too early/too late this fighter deserves this this fighters deserves that..man..the publis is split between their personal preference,if people took the time and watched some mark hunt footages,fights,videos highlight reels….you would know why this would be and exciting fight…brock lesnar jusmped into the ufc and became champ thraight away…and he sucks…people loved him cause he was big..wwe f whatever…HE SUCKED….but it was ok for him?…..hunt winning would be a cinderella story…hunt losing? another win and a title defence for JDS…hunt is one of my trainers best friends here in australia..he is a top bloke! & it would be awesome to see this fighT!

  19. Ruben says:

    I think a lot of people are buying into this being a great match up with two great strikers…i dont see it that way, I see Dos Santos being too quick and using his reach to pick his shots like he did with Carwin, also if at any time he doesn’t feel comfortable he can easily take it to the ground and work there. Hunt also has horrible cardio, he looked bad against Rothwell not too long ago. Long story short i don’t see this fight being too competitive

    • T.DADDY says:

      ^^^ WORD ^^^

    • Isaac says:

      lol dude everyone that night had bad cardio, they were fighting at really high altitude levels, true he isnt a michael bisping or nick diaz for cardio but he isnt bad, and one, watch fedor against hunt, hunt isnt as bad on teh ground as everyone says and the fedor fight was before american top team. the fact that his stand up is so crisp and strong means that he doesnt like the ground as much, and against frank mir etc he would probly get killed atm and emphasis n at the moment. personally i would like someone else to fight jds this time jsut cos i dont think mark hunt should jump ahead but i think that it would still be a great fight, with hunt still pulling the win.

  20. Nick says:

    What a douchey way to start the story. “Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few days” that’s rude as hell. This man needs a lesson in journalism. For real. What if you check MMA news like once a week. This isn’t something that gets headlined on the nightly news. C’mon. I mean I check bjpenn.com daily, just think it’s a rude way to start a sentence because it’s not that huge of news.

    • James says:

      I like part where the author tells you to suspend logic and then presents an attempt at a logical argument for Hunt.

  21. Mangry says:

    I would possibly be the biggest Hunt fan there is, ever since the legend of his fights out in a south auckland club where he sent 16 (or 100 depending on the teller of the tale) guys to hospital single handedly.
    I would love to see mark go for the title shot, but seriously i think its a bit too premature.
    I think mir has deserved a shot, and depending on the results of 146 maybe hunt could squeeze one more fight even, or go straight for the title.
    either way i think he would KO jds, and rape cain

  22. T.DADDY says:

    THIS GUY DOES NOT DESERVE A TITLE SHOT POINT BLANK PERIOD

  23. 7th Ronin says:

    HW division still isnt even being closed to stacked but the talent that is there is alot better then it was just a few years back. Been a fan of Hunts for a long time. This is really the only title fight that makes sense to me. Mark Hunt ftw !

  24. Jujitsu Player says:

    He’s a legend but I’m not getting swept up in this, the fight should go to the number 1 contender, period. It’s got to be Mir/Cain/Werdum for me. This isn’t a feel good movie with a happy ending for the underdog. If hunt keeps knocking guys out cold then he’ll eventually get a title shot, but it’s got to be at least 2 fights away against decent opponents.

  25. Taylor says:

    People who hate on Mark Hunt don’t know shit about MMA….period. Do your research! Mark Hunt will be UFC HW Champ if not this year then the next!

  26. If he gets replaced please let Hendo take the fight.
    Mark Fat Hunt ain’t no match for JDS just because he beat Kongo..
    Overeem made quick work of Hunt when they fought i don’t think Hunt made all that great improvements to take the belt..

  27. sean says:

    hunt ! no way ! wow he has won 3 fightsin a row ! but he was on a 6 fight loseing streak beofre h won 3 in a row ! he has lost to reem and fedor ! also moussasi ! this guy doesnt deserve shit

  28. Joe says:

    Why hasn’t Werdum even been considered ?

  29. A.James says:

    No one deserves a title shot and that’s the problem here. The number one contender was a fraud and everyone else is working their way up the ladder. Why not give it to Hunt? I prefer Hendo because of the marketability. That’s me though. This whole situation is F’ed though.

  30. fourtetshou says:

    Yes Hunt vs JDS, then Hunt vs Jon Jones

  31. Brend0magic says:

    I don’t think he deserves a title shot, but I really enjoy watching Mark fight and Hunt/JDS would be an awesome fight. Best HW boxer and the best HW chin haha. Potential fight of the year.

  32. Farhat says:

    Great article and great writing!!! I agree. I love the super Samoan, his style, his great chin, and exciting stand up. Amazing hall of fame fighter.

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