It doesn’t appear that Mark Hunt got the clause in his fight contract that would financially protect him if Alistair Overeem tests positive in relation to their scheduled UFC 209 bout. Hunt, however, felt he had no choice but to accept the fight.
When the UFC announced the pairing for its March 4 event in Las Vegas, Hunt said on his website that he was still pushing for a clause in his contract would protect him and take the financial gain of his opponent if he were caught cheating. Hunt’s insistence that his opponent lose his fight purse if he tests positive stems from the fact that his three most recent opponents were all men that were charged with an anti-doping violation.
Hunt has foregone his insistence on the clause, however, as he told New Zealand-based publication Stuff that he felt he had no choice.
“I’m not young, I’m 42 years old. In six months, I’ve already missed out on a couple of fights. I’ve already missed out on a couple million dollars,” Hunt said.
“At the end of the day, I’ve stuck to my word. I’ve got no option, I’m in a contract that I can’t get out of.
“Think it from my position, I had no other option. I can’t work anywhere else, so what am I supposed to do, let my family starve?”
Hunt most recently fought in July of 2016, losing to Brock Lesnar as part of the blockbuster UFC 200 fight card. Hunt was paid $700,000 for his efforts. Lesnar, meanwhile, scored a $2.5 million disclosed payday… but tested positive to prohibited substances, twice.
While the fight outcome was eventually changed to a no contest and Lesnar received a one-year suspension and $250,000 fine, the fact that Lesnar still profited handsomely from the situation didn’t sit well with Hunt. He pushed hard to get a clause added to his contract that would provide for stiffer penalties for his opponents, but that clause never came to fruition.
Hunt fought and lost to Overeem once before under the Dream banner in Japan, but there was no real drug testing involved at that point. Overeem eventually followed Hunt to the UFC, where The Rheem was sanctioned for having an abnormally high ratio of Testosterone-to-Epitestosterone. A high T/E ratio can be indicative of exogenous use of testosterone, and is thus considered an anti-doping violation.
Considering Overeem’s background, it’s no surprise that Hunt would want some assurance that he would be protected should another violation occur. Thus far, the UFC has not been willing to add a clause to his contract, and Hunt’s past requests to be released by the promotion were not granted.
At this point, Hunt is resigned to fighting, but is also prepared to take matters into his own hands if Overeem or other future opponents are popped for an anti-doping violation.
“Every fighter I fight, if he gets caught through the process, then I’ll sue him personally,” Hunt declared. “If I don’t get help from the company, I’ll do it myself.
“(Dopers) should be struck from the records and taken everything off them. They don’t deserve to get a cent. This sport is already harsh enough as it is. When you add in steroid use, it makes it even worse.”