Some fight fans probably greeted the news that Mark Hunt was going to get a shot in the UFC with a little excitement. But most, though, have ripped the move. Hunt has lost five straight fights that includes two losses against true middleweights. The outrage was loud enough that UFC president Dana White Tweeted an explanation saying with the purchase of PRIDE in 2007, Hunt was still owed some fights.
Hunt doesn't care how he got his fight against Sean McCorkle at UFC 119 in September, he just wants to make up for lost time. The 36-year-old former K-1 champ has always been, let's be generous, on the plump side. He's only 5-foot-10 but often tipped the scales near 300 pounds. Hunt realizes that may have worked in Japan, where so many fighters seem to ignore the kind of professional training that is now commonplace in the U.S., but it won't cut it here. From Sherdog:
"It's been two or three years of bad training for me. Not my training partners, but how hard I trained," Hunt confesses. "I'm looking to go overseas to train for the first time, to really get some good training partners. If I do things like I should do them, it shouldn't matter who I'm facing, ever."
Hunt admitted he's never had a real training camp for any of his 11 MMA fights.
"If I'd trained as hard as some of the guys out here, I probably wouldn't be sitting here right now," Hunt laments. "I'd be at a different level of fighting.
"I just used up my time. I squandered it," he shrugs.
Hunt isn't without talent. He does hold wins over Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Wanderlei Silva. But his weight and lack of ground game has too often done him in.
"I never had to make weight before. I never gave a damn what I ate. I've already stopped eating KFC, chocolate, that stuff," Hunt says. "I've got a personal trainer, never had one of them before."
With the pressure of a one-and-done situation with the UFC, Hunt says now he's sees the light.
"It is what it is now. I wish I could change the way I did things now, but I'm here for a reason," says Hunt. "For me now, I know this is my last chance. I won a K-1 world title, then I fought MMA. I wanted to win, but I didn't have that drive to be a champion. I feel like now, I really want to be an MMA champion."
Hunt can be an entertaining fighter and could be a nice card filler for the UFC. There's nothing like rooting for the tubby guys like Mike Russow and Roy Nelson. It also needs to be noted that the five-fight losing streak has come against Gegard Mousasi, Melvin Manhoef, Fedor Emelianenko, Josh Barnett and Alistair Overeem. In the midst of Fedor's incredible run, Hunt did give him one of his biggest scares. He got top control on two occasions (VIDEO - 3:24 and 6:24 mark) in the first round but had no idea how to finish the fight.
Here's rooting for Hunt to get a win and for the UFC to bring his American version on board, Chris Barnett. The 5-foot-9, 275-pound Barnett has been getting heavy play on HDNet recently. The 5-0 fighter generally puts on a show.
Barnett is quite the dancer but still hasn't quite perfected that celebratory front flip.