The Super Samoan has been in the UFC for eight years. That’s nearly a whole career right there, but we’re talking about a combat sports life that dates all the way back to 1998. You name a place and Mark Hunt has probably punched someone there. Chances are, it was also a walk-off knockout. After all this time and his love/hate relationship with the organization, Hunt is finally going to part ways with the UFC after he fights out his contract.
“We’ll get that number nine [Curtis Blaydes] and put him away, so hopefully the UFC can give me someone higher instead of giving me someone beneath me. So, it is what it is. I just gotta keep ticking the boxes and just moving ahead with the career. Three fights left, this will be one of them, I got two left and then see you later. For the UFC, yeah. That will be the end of my career in the UFC [after I fight out of my contract]. I have two fights left and that’s it. You probably know the path I’ve had with the UFC, but you know, it’s business.”
— UFC Aus/New Zealand (@UFC_AUSNZ) December 13, 2017
“I haven’t done nothing wrong, I just don’t like to be treated like sh-t – even if I’m an employee or whatever and I speak my mind about it and, you know, I’ll go from there. So like I said, three fights left and I’ll move on. Well, of course I’m looking at going and fighting global fights for New Zealand, Australia and probably Japan. It depends on what happens. Like I said, I’m still chasing the dream of that world title. I’m in a good position to get a finish in this fight, beat this guy, then move on to the top end. It’s not gonna be easy, but I’ll see what happens and hopefully I get next in line for the world title shot, go from there. So, see what happens.” — Mark Hunt speaking to Submission Radio.
Don’t get it twisted, Mark Hunt isn’t retiring. He still wants to fight in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Does this mean that we’ll see Hunt in a RIZIN ring in a couple of years? After his historic fights in PRIDE and K-1, the Samoan would certainly receive a warm welcome. The last time he was in Japan was 2014 when he finished Roy Nelson, earning Performance of the Night and Knockout of the Year from the World MMA Awards.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/21/2017.