Category Archives: Mark Hunt

Mark Hunt wanted Fabricio Werdum rematch in Sydney, but 'he is getting a manicure'

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Mark Hunt was seeking a bout with a top-ranked heavyweight at UFC Fight Night in Sydney later this year. Unfortunately, no one on his wish list was available, so he was forced to settle for Marcin Tybura as an opponent.

Although Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) has spent more than two decades competing in combat sports and is not one to avoid any fight, he did have his sights set on a rematch with Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC), who beat him by second-round knockout in a short-notice fight at UFC 180 in November 2014.

Hunt said he was angling for another fight against the Brazilian at the Sydney event – or possibly even in Japan next month. However, he claims Werdum didn’t want it (and instead is “getting a manicure), and the fight with Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) was then booked (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

UFC Fight Night in Sydney, which takes place Nov. 19 at Qudos Bank Arena, marks the 11th time the UFC has headed to Australia and fourth to Sydney. Due to the time change, the card airs on Nov. 18 in the U.S. on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The UFC recently made the bout official (via Twitter):

Hunt, No. 10 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, is coming off a fourth-round TKO win over Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 110 in June. The fight snapped a two-fight skid for “The Super Samoan” and put him in position to headline an event in Australia for the fourth time.

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

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Mark Hunt to headline UFC Fight Night in Sydney vs. Marcin Tybura

Mark Hunt’s career just keeps on trucking.

Hunt, coming off a hard-fought win in his last fight, will return to face Marcin Tybura in the main event of the upcoming UFC Fight Night event in the Australian capital city of Sydney.

Polish website Lowking.pl first reported the match, which MMAjunkie subsequently confirmed with multiple UFC officials. A formal announcement is expected early next week.

The event, which takes place Nov. 19 at Qudos Bank Arena, marks the 11th time the UFC has headed to Australia and fourth to Sidney. Due to the time change, the card airs on Nov. 18 in the U.S. on FS1.

Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) earned a grueling fourth-round TKO win over Derrick Lewis in June at UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland, New Zealand. In the immediate aftermath of the fight, Hunt, 43, hinted at the possibility of retirement but wasn’t certain.

“Anybody above me is good,” Hunt said of who he wanted to face next. “I stepped down for Derrick because he was No. 6, but anyone above me, I’ll take. I’ve only got a few more fights left, so for me, if it ended here tonight, so be it. I’ve had a good run. I’ve had a lot of fun, traveled the world. But it looks like it’s still continuing.”

Indeed it is, and Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is an interesting choice of opponent considering Hunt currently is No. 6 in the official UFC heavyweight rankings, while Tybura sits at No. 10.

Tybura will be coming off of a unanimous-decision win in June at UFC Fight Night 111, where he handed Andre Arlovski his fifth straight loss. It marked Tybura’s third straight victory.

For more on UFC in Sydney, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC heavyweight Aleksei Oleinik wants Mark Hunt, but super-troll Hunt wants Fabricio Werdum

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Nearly a month after his big win over Travis Browne at UFC 213, Aleksei Oleinik knows the challenge he wants next. Problem is, it seems to be one-way traffic for him.

Oleinik (52-10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC) got into a heavyweight slugfest with Browne (18-7-1 MMA, 9-7-1 UFC) to close out the UFC 213 prelims in July and finished him with a second-round rear-naked choke. He thinks that win should get him a fight with Mark Hunt.

Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) is coming off a fourth-round TKO of Derrick Lewis (18-5 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the UFC Fight Night 110 main event in June. But Hunt isn’t interested in Oleinik. Instead, he wants former champ Fabricio Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC).

When Oleinik called Hunt out on social media, Hunt responded on Facebook … and rather brilliantly trolled Oleinik’s Instagram handle by spelling it “Alexeyholeydik.” In the comments, after Oleinik replied, Hunt said he’d prefer to wait to fight him till he’s in the UFC’s top five.

So which fight would you rather see? Hunt vs. Oleinik? Or Hunt vs. Werdum? Weigh in on it in the poll below.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Is it time to do away with the show money/win bonus pay structure in MMA?

Among the many things that Gegard Mousasi likes about his new Bellator contract, judging by his recent remarks, is the difference in pay structure. The way the UFC typically does it? You get one sum for showing up and fighting and another, typically equal, sum for winning.

That means a win is worth twice as much as a loss to most fighters, a pay structure so common in MMA (and not just the UFC) that it largely goes unquestioned and unremarked upon.

But there are exceptions, and Mousasi isn’t the only one.

For example, at last weekend’s UFC 213, co-main event winner Alistair Overeem made an event-high $800,000 with no win bonus for his narrow majority decision over Fabricio Werdum.

Mark Hunt, another heavyweight who signed a new UFC contract when his iron was hot, made a flat fee of $750,000 for his knockout loss to Overeem at UFC 209. For Hunt’s fight against Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, both men had contracts that dispensed with the show money, netting Hunt a cool $700,000 for showing up while Lesnar made $2.5 million before fines related to his ensuing suspension for a failed drug test.

Even newly minted UFC interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker made a set sum of $350,000 with no win bonus for his unanimous-decision victory over Yoel Romero at UFC 213. It reflected a marked improvement from the $30,000 to show and $30,000 to win he made roughly a year earlier.

The advantages to the flat fee are fairly obvious. There are so many ways to lose in MMA, ranging from a legitimate knockout loss to a questionable stoppage or blatantly wrong judges’ decision, that having half your paycheck dependent on forces out of your control seems like poor financial planning. And those fighters who do negotiate flat fees usually end up getting more in show money than others do for show and win combined.

Of course, the show-win model actually works out quite well for promoters. It allows them to offer the idea of a better payday to people who naturally tend to be optimists about their own futures. If you promise a fighter $25,000 to show and another $25,000 to win, in his head he’s likely already spending the full $50,000, because of course he doesn’t step into the cage planning to lose.

But there can only be one winner in every fight, which means somebody’s payday is always half of what they were hoping for when they signed the contract. That’s money that stays in the promoter’s pocket, a guaranteed savings in virtually every fight.

Promoters will also tell you they like the incentive provided by the show-win model, but that explanation isn’t as simple as it sounds. For one thing, most fighters aren’t lacking for good reasons to try their best in any given fight. If concerns about keeping blood inside their body aren’t enough, there are the practical ramifications of defeat to consider. Winning is generally always better than losing when it comes to advancing a fighter’s career, and they know it.

In fact, including such a heavy financial penalty for defeat seems likely to be counterproductive for promoters, since it may make fighters more conservative in their approaches. Why take risks for the sake of exciting the crowd when a loss can mean the difference between a good Christmas for your kids and a dismal one?

Similarly, if you need to win to make the payout worthwhile, why stay in a fight if you’re sick or injured and don’t like your chances at victory? Why do that damage to your record, your future prospects, and maybe also your face, if it seems like you’ll be getting half pay for it in the end?

At the highest levels of combat sports, win bonuses have become something of a rarity. Jon Jones doesn’t get them. Neither does Conor McGregor. When Ryan Bader discussed his new Bellator contract, it was a key point he seized on.

At the star-studded UFC 200 event, four of the five winning fighters on the main card had contracts that did not include win bonuses. The lone exception was Jose Aldo, whose $100,000 win bonus made up a relatively paltry portion of his overall $500,000 payday.

Still, those on the lower and even middle tiers of the pay scale seem to have little choice in the matter. Their financial fates are still determined largely by who gets his or her hand raised. But if negotiating power were to shift, either due to a fighters association or some other unifying stance, that pay structure might be the first thing to change.

There are a lot of good reasons to want to know how much money you’ll make when you go to work at a dangerous and difficult job. There aren’t so many good reasons not to.

For more on the upcoming MMA schedule, visit the MMA events section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

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.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

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

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

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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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
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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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

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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Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

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

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

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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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
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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Filed under: News, UFC
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.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie