Mark Hunt is in a unique position.
The heavyweight will step into the Octagon Saturday night to face Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 while in the midst of a lawsuit against the UFC, president Dana White and Hunt’s UFC 200 opponent, Brock Lesnar.
The lawsuit stems from Hunt’s loss to Lesnar last July and the subsequent revelation that Lesnar had failed both his pre and post-fight drug tests. Although Lesnar was suspended and fined, Hunt was not satisfied with the idea that Lesnar was allowed to fight, make $2.5 million, and put his health at risk in the process.
With the lawsuit still pending, Hunt finds himself fighting for the very promotion he’s suing and explained that he’s not pleased with how things turned out. However, he had no choice in the matter.
“I was forced to be here,” Hunt said on Thursday. “I wasn’t supposed to be here and they said if you don’t take this fight it’s against your contract.”
Hunt — who is a +115 underdog against Overeem, according to Sportsbook Review — is able to cope with the idea of fighting for the promotion because he has made a living as a fighter.
“Why should my family suffer and miss out on my hard work,” the 42-year-old said. “They should deserve to have the better things in life because I’ve gotten beaten up to get here. So why should they miss out?”
Hunt stated that he didn’t feel like an “outsider” during the fight week activities and was treated well by UFC staff. However, he has not spoken to Dana White and will only do so through his attorney.
In the interim, Hunt said that he is still annoyed by the fact that those that violate USADA regulations are still able to earn a paycheck. And it doesn’t make things any better when you consider that he’ll be facing Overeem, who failed a drug test in 2012 with elevated testosterone levels. But, ultimately, he’s contractually bound to face whoever they put in front of him until his legal situation is figured out.
“I didn’t want to be in this position,” he 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? If you do lose against a guy that’s cheating, you lose. You don’t get no benefits from it. Like I said before, this is supposed to be the best fighters in the world not the best cheaters in the world, the best guys who can hide it with doctors.”