Mark Hunt is done with the UFC.
It may take the better part of the next year or so to get clear of the promotion, but Hunt insists that he is done dealing with the UFC, though he doesn’t plan on retiring.
Hunt has three fights left on his current contract, including a bout with Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221 on Feb. 11 in Perth, Western Australia. After that, he wants to get the remaining two bouts on his contract out of the way as quickly as possible and then move on.
“We’ll get that number nine (Blaydes) and put him away, so hopefully the UFC can give me someone higher instead of giving me someone beneath me. (Hunt is currently ranked No. 5 in the heavyweight division.) So, it is what it is. I just gotta keep ticking the boxes and just moving ahead with the career. Three fights left (on my UFC contract), this will be one of them. I got two left and then see you later,” Hunt said during a recent interview with Submission Radio.
“That will be the end of my career in the UFC. I have two fights left and that’s it.”
Hunt has certainly traveled had a rocky road with the UFC.
When the promotion bought out Pride FC ten years ago, Hunt’s contract came along as part of the deal. The UFC didn’t want to enlist his services, offering to buy him out of his deal, but Hunt convinced them to let him fight. He has been with the UFC ever since.
Despite things going well initially, Hunt has tired of working for the UFC brass, feeling like he hasn’t been treated appropriately, particularly when it comes to having to fight so many opponents that have been sanctioned for adverse anti-doping findings. He even went so far as to file a lawsuit against his employer, which is ongoing.
Hunt was then pulled from the recent UFC Sydney fight card in November, following a controversial article he published with an Aussie outlet that left UFC executives questioning his medical readiness.
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Now that he’s jumped through the necessary hoops and is cleared to fight, Hunt wants nothing more than to fight out his contract as quickly as possible and move on.
“I haven’t done nothing wrong. I just don’t like to be treated like (expletive) – even if I’m an employee or whatever and I speak my mind about it. So like I said, three fights left and I’ll move on.”
Hunt already has his next move in mind, wanting a return to something similar to his Pride FC and K-1 kickboxing days, fighting much more in the Southern Hemisphere and possibly Southeast Asia.
“I’m looking at going and fighting global fights for New Zealand, Australia, and probably Japan. It depends on what happens,” he said.
“I’m still chasing the dream of that world title. I’m in a good position to get a finish in this fight, beat this guy, then move on to the top end. It’s not gonna be easy, but I’ll see what happens and hopefully I get next in line for the world title shot, go from there. So, see what happens.”