Category Archives: Mark Hunt

Could this really be the end of Derrick Lewis' MMA career?

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Say, just for the sake of argument, that Derrick Lewis was telling us the truth. Say that when he told us his TKO loss to Mark Hunt on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 110 would “probably” be his last fight, he really meant it. Say it wasn’t just the pain and disappointment talking. What then?

What are we supposed to make of a career as short and strange and somehow memorable as his? Roughly seven years as an active MMA fighter, three years in the UFC, only the last year of which saw him become a household name among fight fans.

And now, according to “The Black Beast,” it’s over? You know, probably?

Even without that seed of doubt, it’d be hard to believe. A 32-year-old fighter who calls it quits immediately after a loss is practically begging for a little skepticism.

That’s true in any division, but especially at heavyweight, where the talent is rare and old. Just look at the 43-year-old Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC), who gave Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) a lesson in cage control and victory via attrition in front of his hometown crowd in Auckland, New Zealand. Even he seems seems a little surprised that his career is still in progress.

But now that he’s settling down, Lewis isn’t sure he wants to keep putting his family through this. Fair enough. Fight camps and quality family time are often incompatible. As much as fighters like to say they’re doing it for their families, by which they mean sacrificing their bodies for money, the lifestyle itself is necessarily a pretty selfish one.

Plus, not all your loved ones are going to think the paychecks are worth the risk of brain trauma – or the stress of sitting around and hoping you come home in one piece.

But a Lewis exit right now would leave a considerable hole in the heavyweight division. A knockout artist with real personality? A contender still young enough to withstand the inevitable ups and downs of the weight class? Someone fans actually care about, at least in part because, when he makes inside jokes like this one at a UFC weigh-in, he seems like one of us, just another MMA nerd, albeit with actual physical skills?

Yeah, that’s someone you might like to keep around if you’re the UFC.

But let’s not kid ourselves. As much fun as Lewis has been to have around, he’s also been somewhat limited as an MMA fighter.

His striking is lethal in short bursts. His ground game consists of one move: standing up. His cardio is such that, win or lose, he’s bound to be out of breath for the post-fight interview. It’s very possible that a six-fight winning streak beginning with Viktor Pesta in 2015 and culminating with Travis Browne in February was bound to be the high-water mark for his career.

Then again, if the enduring appeal of fighters like Hunt proves anything, it’s that we’re not just here for champions in this sport. That, too, is especially true at heavyweight, where a colorful character with the power to separate other big men from their consciousness can be a draw for years to come.

But if a fighter weighs the pros and cons of that situation and decides he’d rather seek a new career elsewhere, I’m not sure I can blame him. This is a tough sport in which to be a lovable punching bag. It’s also, however, a tough sport to quit on your first try.

And remember the last time Lewis informed us of his plans for the future, how he wasn’t even going to answer the phone if his coaches or manager called him about taking another fight?

That was in February, after his win over Browne. A month later he was signing up to fight Hunt in New Zealand. Don’t be too surprised if a man who takes vacations like that ends up taking the same approach to retirement.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

With Mark Hunt's win, the most stubborn career in all of MMA trudges on

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One of these days Mark Hunt really is going to retire. He has to. You get the sense that maybe he even wants to, at least until he thinks about it for two seconds.

But regardless, when that inevitable moment finally does come, don’t expect it to be accompanied by fireworks or long, tearful speeches. Expect it to look more like what happened after Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 main event in Auckland, New Zealand, where Hunt stopped Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the fourth round and then told us, hey, even if that turned out to be his last fight, “so be it.”

“I’ve had a good run,” Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) said in the octagon after his victory. “I’ve had a lot of fun, traveled the world. But it looks like it’s still continuing.”

If you didn’t know better, you’d say he almost sounded surprised.

In a way, it’s hard to blame him. At 43, with more than 50 combined fights in kickboxing and MMA, Hunt has lived a few different lifetimes worth of combat sports, from birth to death to improbable resurrection. His rises never last, but neither do his declines.

So when Hunt spent four rounds slowly grinding Lewis into a physical and psychological submission, then showed up at the post-fight press conference to say, sure, he guessed he’d keep fighting, how surprised could we really be?

“I like to get beat up,” Hunt said. “Shucks, there’s nothing else I’m good at. But I’ve got a couple of fights I want to finish. Why not see the contract out and then retire?”

That leaves Hunt as a continuing fixture in the heavyweight division of a fight promotion that didn’t want him, that was in fact so convinced of his uselessness it tried to pay him not to fight. Hunt wouldn’t go away then and he won’t go away now, so what is the UFC supposed to do with him?

The fight with Lewis was one attempt to answer that question. A rising heavyweight slugger against an established one, adding a little hometown juice to a UFC Fight Night event in need of some name value. After years of building a reputation for winning all at once and then celebrating with a pleasant evening stroll, this was a fight that Hunt won a little at time.

He walked Lewis down. He trapped him against the fence and suffocated him with a slow and steady pressure. He had to take his share of punishment in return, but he didn’t seem to mind that. Without it, he’d hardly know he’d been in a fight.

In the end, Lewis wilted, grimacing his way to a TKO stoppage and a somewhat noncommittal retirement speech of his own, one tempered with words like “probably.” Hunt, meanwhile, surged to victory, breathing a little more life into his endless career. Like his lawsuit against the UFC, Hunt’s fighting days just seem to stretch on and on.

Will he ever be a UFC champion, or even get another crack at it? Maybe not. But even with a win-loss record that’s thoroughly unimpressive on paper, it’s impossible to call his career anything but a success, if only for the stubborn longevity of it.

Eventually, Hunt will have to quit. He probably won’t have much to say about it when that day does come, but sooner or later it has to happen. It just doesn’t have to happen yet, and so it won’t, which shouldn’t surprise us.

If there’s one thing we ought to know about Hunt by now, it’s that he doesn’t go away easily. Whole careers have been built on less. In a sport that’s often a contest to see who’ll give up and quit first, simply refusing to do so is one way to end up a legend.

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Mark Hunt after UFC Fight Night 110: I'm not retiring, and Alistair Overeem is still a 'cheating bum'

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Any ambiguity left by heavyweight Mark Hunt’s post-fight speech at UFC Fight Night 110 was batted away afterward at the press conference.

Hunt said he fully plans on fighting out his current UFC contract, which he told MMAjunkie has three bouts remaining.

“I don’t think so,” Hunt, 43, said after being asked whether he was thinking about hanging up his gloves. “I like to get beat up. Shucks, there’s nothing else I’m good at. But I’ve got a couple of fights I want to finish. Why not see the contract out and then retire?”

In an FS1-televised headliner at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, Hunt checked off another obligation by outlasting Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC). Chasing the American around the octagon, New Zealand native Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) battered the the surging heavyweight until he capitulated in the fourth round.

Afterward, Hunt made it sound like all options were on the table for his career, including retirement.

“I’ve only got a few more fights left, so for me, if it ended here tonight, so be it,” he said in the octagon. “I’ve had a good run. I’ve had a lot of fun, traveled the world. But it looks like it’s still continuing.”

Hunt got back in the win column after a third-round KO loss to Alistair Overeem, which renewed his fiery passion against performance-enhancing drug users.

“He’s always going to be a cheating bum to me, regardless of whether he beat me,” Hunt said Saturday at the post-fight presser. “All of his achievements, you don’t know whether they’re done by steroids or not. Sorry, Alistair, you’re a cheat.”

Still in the midst of a court battle with the UFC over a pair of failed tests by Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, Hunt remains outspoken about the problem of doping in MMA and used his post-fight speech to decry cheaters.

Asked what he would do to clean up the sport, Hunt indicated that noted anti-doping figure and UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky could do more toward that goal. There’s that and hitting doping offenders where it counts.

“I think taking away the financial gains to start with,” Hunt said. “People say for me, it’s just a money grab. I think if you take away the financial incentive, then the cheaters will think twice. You take away the money, they wouldn’t do it. It’s just a clause in the contract saying the cheater doesn’t benefit at all. Because right now, it pays to cheat.”

Hunt went to court, in part, to get the UFC to change the way it punishes doping offenders, despite the promotion’s industry-leading anti-doping program led by USADA. Hunt at one point refused to fight Overeem unless new language was inserted in his contract protecting him against financial losses and punishing Overeem in the event of a failed drug test.

Hunt, via his attorneys, contend the UFC and Lesnar conspired to allow Lesnar to dope. The case is now active in Nevada District Court.

The looming legal cloud and Hunt’s ongoing feud against cheaters created the impression he could leave the octagon sooner than later. That isn’t the case, though. He’s got a few more trips to the octagon.

The stakes still remain high for his crusade, however. Hunt said it’s necessary to make the punishments tougher “before someone dies.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 video highlights: Mark Hunt vs. Derrick Lewis

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Mark Hunt and Derrick Lewis went at each other for nearly four rounds until one of them simply didn’t have anymore gas in the tank.

That someone was Lewis.

Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) took Lewis’ (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) best shots and chased him around the cage, doling out repeated shots to the body and legs until Lewis tired and slumped in exhaustion at the 3:51 mark of the fourth round.

The heavyweight bout headlined today’s UFC Fight Night 110 event, which took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the complete the highlights above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 bonuses: Finishes by Ben Nguyen, Dan Hooker earn them $50K

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Mark Hunt, Derrick Lewis, Ben Nguyen, and Dan Hooker each earned $50,000 fight-night bonuses at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 event.

Hooker and Nguyen each picked up “Performance of the Night” awards, while Hunt and Lewis took home “Fight of the Night” honors.

UFC officials announced the winners following the event, which MMAjunkie attended.

Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) and Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) went back and forth until the fourth round, when Hunt chased Lewis around the cage, doling out repeated shots to the body and legs until Lewis tired and slumped in exhaustion at the 3:51 mark of the fourth round.

Nguyen (17-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) used Tim Elliott’s (14-8-1 MMA, 3-6 UFC) frenetic grappling against him, taking the back and sinking in a choke in the first round to earn an upset win inside 1 minute.

Hooker (14-7 MMA, 4-3 UFC) polished off Pearson (19-14 MMA, 11-11 UFC) with a perfectly times knee that sent his mouthpiece flying for a second-round knockout.

UFC Fight Night 110 took place Sunday (but aired live in the U.S. on Saturday due to time difference) at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Mark Hunt's TKO, Derrick Lewis' 'likely' retirement at UFC Fight Night 110

Mark Hunt got back on track in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 main event when he defeated Derrick Lewis for his first victory since March 2016.

Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) took care of business in home territory when he snapped Lewis’ (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) lengthy winning streak with a fourth-round TKO victory in the FS1-televised headliner at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

After the fight, “The Black Beast” said he was “most likely” going to retire from MMA.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Hunt’s victory over Lewis in the UFC Fight Night 110 main event.

* * * *

http://twitter.com/ChaseShermanUFC/status/873759676546023424

http://twitter.com/ChaseShermanUFC/status/873763398714105856

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 results: Mark Hunt wins grueling battle vs. Derrick Lewis with 4th-round TKO

A heavyweight fight that on paper looked like a slugfest turned into a battle of cardiovascular strength.

Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) took Derrick Lewis’ (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) best shots and chased him around the cage, doling out repeated shots to the body and legs, until Lewis tired and slumped in exhaustion at the 3:51 mark of the fourth round.

The heavyweight bout headlined today’s UFC Fight Night 110 event, which took place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In a fight full of surprises, Hunt started things off by indicating he could retire after his win, while Lewis said he had “most likely” fought his last fight in the UFC.

More to come.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 110 results:

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 110 ceremonial weigh-in video highlights and gallery

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Check out the video highlights and photo gallery from today’s UFC Fight Night 110 ceremonial weigh-ins, which went off mostly without a hitch and just a little bit of drama.

The ceremonial weigh-ins took place at Spark Arena, which hosts the FS1-televised event that follows prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

In the main event, heavyweights Derrick Lewis (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) and Mark Hunt (12-11-1 MMA, 7-5-1 UFC) clash in a literally huge main event. Each fighter weighed the maximum 265 pounds at today’s weigh-ins.

Check out our highlights video from the proceedings above, and don’t miss our photo gallery below.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Who ya got?! Fellow fighters predict knockout – but for Derrick Lewis or Mark Hunt?

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Fellow fighters predict a knockout in Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 110 main event – but for which headliner?

In a clash of heavyweight strikers, surging contender Derrick Lewis (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) takes on vet and local favorite Mark Hunt (12-11-1 MMA, 7-5-1 UFC).

UFC Fight Night 110 takes place at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Heading into the big-man showdown, Lewis, who’s No. 7 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, is a modest (-135) favorite over slight ‘dog (+105) and No. 11-ranked Hunt.

However, as you can see in the above video, their fellow fighters aren’t ready to count out Hunt, and many predict an upset.

For more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Amid legal battle, Mark Hunt welcomes some 'pure, plain and simple fighting' with Derrick Lewis

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand – With a legal battle taking place outside the octagon, Mark Hunt is glad for the simpler one he’s about to put on for his home fans at Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand.

After a UFC 200 appointment with ex-champ Brock Lesnar that resulted in his opponent failing two drug tests, Hunt (12-11-1 MMA, 7-5-1 UFC) decided to take both Lesnar and the UFC to court. With that imbroglio still unfolding, Hunt welcomes the chance to resolve things with fellow heavyweight slugger Derrick Lewis (18-4 MMA, 9-2 UFC) in more straightforward fashion.

“That’s the best place in the world, in the octagon,” Hunt told MMAjunkie ahead of the FS1-televised UFC Fight Night 110 headliner, which takes place Sunday (but airs live in the U.S. on Saturday due to time difference). “There’s no charges, no court battle. It’s just mano a mano.

“There are two guys trying to get that win and trying to move ahead in the rankings of the heavyweight division. That’s all there is. You can forget about everything. (It’s) just pure, plain and simple fighting. That’s the best part about it. Best part about it.”

Hunt, who contended in a later-amended lawsuit that “UFC officials allowed Lesnar to compete at UFC 200 with knowledge or willful indifference to the fact that Lesnar was using banned substances,” is seeking for both punitive and compensatory damages after originally demanding to be given the former champ’s full $2.5 million purse.

To some extent, Hunt confirmed, it is about the money. But there’s a lot more to that than people may think.

“The first thing you do when you have a problem like this, you take away their incentive to cheat,” Hunt said. “So what’s their incentive? Money. Take away that first, and then it changes their issues, their views on trying to cheat. You take away their financial gain, and they don’t want to cheat. If you talk about people saying it’s a money grab. Yeah, it is.

“It’s a grab to grab their money so they don’t do it. When you stop the influx of income, and stop their want for cheating – because when cheaters cheat, they want the money, and they want the rest of it. If you take their money gains from it, what have they got? They’ve got (expletive), that’s what they’ve got. Their hand on their (expletive), and that’s all they’ve got.”

Originally a decision win in favor of Lesnar, the UFC 200 scrap was later overturned to a no-contest, and Lesnar was fined and suspended. Hunt went on to fight once more; Alistair Overeem knocked him out in the third round of a UFC 209 encounter in March.

At 43, Hunt doesn’t rule out the possibility of this being his last scrap. And, happy with having “done his dash” in helping pave the way for fighters who followed, he would be satisfied to close his career cycle where it started.

“Who knows? Every fight for me could be my last fight,” Hunt said. “I’m the oldest in the division. I’ve still got four fights to try to have a run at the title. We’ll see how Sunday goes, and then we’ll go from there.”

But then, amid all the drama and dissatisfaction, what keeps him going?

“What am I going to do? Give up? Stop?” Hunt said. “No, I’m a fighter and being in court with the rest of it – I didn’t want to be in this position with the UFC. It’s not something I like to be in. I never planned that rubbish. It’s just the way things worked out.

“I asked just for a clause in my contract so that the guy who’s cheating doesn’t get any income. That didn’t happen. But I’m not going to keep working and fighting guys that are juicing. Like I already explained before, when you lose against a cheater, they get all the benefits, but you lose on all fronts.”

To hear more from Hunt, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC Fight Night 110, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie