This Saturday, fan favorite heavyweight Mark Hunt will step into the Octagon in hopes of returning to the win column after his controversial UFC 200 loss to Brock Lesnar.
Ahead of that fight, Lesnar was granted an exemption from the first three months of random USADA testing. This raised quite a few questions leading up to the fight, which were all answered in the weeks following the fight, when it was revealed that Lesnar failed a random pre-fight drug test, as well as a fight night drug test.
Despite the loss on Hunt’s record being overturned to a ‘no contest’, ‘The Super Samoan’ turned down two more fights in the midst of a public dispute with the UFC after they refused to put a provision in Hunt’s contract protecting him from fighting steroid users. Because of this, when it was announced that Hunt would be fighting Alistair Overeem at UFC 209, many fans were rather shocked.
According to Hunt, who spoke at the UFC 209 media day, the UFC forced him to fight:
“I was forced to be here,” Hunt told MMAjunkie at today’s UFC 209 media day. “I was told, ‘If you don’t take this fight it’s against your contract.’ Why should my family suffer and miss out on my hard work? They deserve to have the better things in life because I’ve gotten beaten up to get here, so why should they miss out? I haven’t done nothing wrong here, so why should I be the outsider here? The other guy is the guy that cheated. All these other guys that cheat should be put on a pedestal like, ‘That guy’s a cheat. He shouldn’t be here.’”
“I didn’t want to be in this position,” Hunt said. “They gave me no choice. What am I supposed to do? Keep coming to work and fighting steroid cheaters. How would you feel going to work losing to guys? And it is losing. Because if you do lose, you lose. You don’t get no benefit from it. This is supposed to be the best fighters in the world, not the best cheaters in the world or the best guys that can hide it with doctors. The reason I’ve done this is because it’s been a pattern of things that happened.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/2/2017.