UFC and Pride veteran Mark Hunt can’t wait until his next fight. Literally.
The fan-favourite Hunt made his name in MMA after transitioning from kickboxing. During an eight-fight run in Pride and an 18-fight run in the UFC, he fought some of the biggest names in the heavyweight division, including Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop, Fabricio Werdum and Brock Lesnar. He became known for his exciting stand-up style, particularly his now infamous walk-off knockouts. Ultimately, a three-fight losing streak – combined with a number of contractual and legal disputes – signaled the end of his time in the UFC.
The Super Somoan is scheduled to make his return to combat sports in a boxing match on December 16 in Australia. This will be Hunt’s third time getting into the boxing ring and the first time in 20 years. He dropped his debut in 1999 to Josh Wyborn and fought Joe Askew to a draw in 2000. He faces former rugby star Paul Gallen, who owns a 9-0-1 record against mostly unproven talent.
Things got heated between the two at the weigh-ins, as Gallen started trash talking during their face-off. Things quickly escalated and the men had to be separated before Hunt broke free and threw a left hook at his opponent.
Hunt spoke about his return to boxing last month in an interview with Submission Radio. He said that his return to the squared circle is a result of his desire to continue competing and a fair offer made by the promoter (H/T BJPenn).
“I’m a fighter at heart,” Hunt said. “I wanted to finish my career happy instead of being so bitter at fighting and fighting in general. Especially how they run things. I mean, yeah it was a good offer [to fight Paul Gallen]. Things have worked out well, we made a good deal. And it will be one of the biggest events in fighting on this card here in my home town, which I think is awesome. So, what better way than to finish it off with a couple of boxing fights and then move on, I think. I want to have six more fights, to be honest, and finish my career happy.”
This will be Hunt’s first competition since being released by the UFC in December 2018. It will be interesting to see how he fairs in the boxing ring and what kind of opponents he is squared off against. If he does decide to return to MMA at some point, he’s sure to have more than a few suitors bidding for his services.
How do you think Mark Hunt will do in boxing? Do you think we’ll ever see him compete in MMA again?