UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt has added another chapter to his long-running battle against PEDs, this time with some intense words.
In a write-up for Australian website PlayersVoice.com.au, Hunt got very real about the impact that more than a decade of being a professional MMA fighter has had in both his mind and body.
“Sometimes I don’t sleep well,” Hunt wrote. “You can hear me starting to stutter and slur my words. My memory is not that good anymore. I’ll forget something I did yesterday, but I can remember the (expletive) I did years and years ago.”
And while he accepts the risks associated to making a living as a prizefighter – which include death – the heavyweight doesn’t think the current setup is fair, either.
“That’s just the price I’ve paid – the price of being a fighter,” Hunt continued. “But I’ve fought a lot of drug cheats and copped a lot of punishment from guys who were cheating, and that’s not right.
“I will probably end my life fighting. I’ve been fighting since I was a child, fighting to get out of my circumstances. I used to make $300 a week, struggling to put food on the table, but I have become one of the highest-paid fighters in the world. I feel that’s destiny.
“This is what I’m supposed to be doing, and if I die fighting, that’s fine. I just hope that if it does happen, it will be in an honest and fair competition. My body is (expletive), but my mind is still here. I’ve still got my senses about me, and I know what’s right and wrong, which is the main thing.”
While Hunt has been vocal in his fight against doping in MMA, he hasn’t limited himself to words. After former UFC champion Brock Lesnar failed two tests stemming from their UFC 200 encounter, Hunt decided to take both the UFC and Lesnar to court.
While he asked for both punitive compensatory damages, he told MMAjunkie that it wasn’t entirely about the money – rather, about using it to take away people’s incentive to cheat.
In the post, Hunt said the problem – which saw its most recent high-profile developments with former 205-pound kingpin Jon Jones – runs so deep that he’d advise against his children trying a career in fighting. He also said that he was “a little bit naive” before the Lesnar fight, which has since changed.
“If I had been able to go and take blood from Brock and test him myself then I could have known for sure – I don’t want to fight this guy,” Hunt stated. “It frustrates me when people say, ‘Well, you must have known.’ I was told he was being tested properly.
“I didn’t realise the importance of me voicing my opinion about drugs in the sport until after the Lesnar fight. He hits like a bitch, but he still beat me using pure strength. I’m quite strong and could usually get out of most situations.
“I’ve fought some big guys, but Brock is only 6-foot-3 and he’s still three times my size. How does that work? If I was gearing the same as him, I probably would have thrown him out of the octagon.”
Hunt also rebuffed claims that doping doesn’t help in fighting, arguing that “the cheats” are “stronger and they recover better.” And while he’s proud of having made it this far without performance enhancers, Hunt can’t help but think of all that he’s lost due to his opponents not doing the same.
“I’d be champ already if it wasn’t for the cheaters,” Hunt wrote. “I’d probably be retired, sitting at home playing video games all day, eating KFC. These guys couldn’t cut it with me if they weren’t cheating. I’ve missed out on sponsors and millions of dollars. It pisses me off when I think about it.
“Lesnar is a big name. He’s a superstar. That was my chance to get closer to the title – it would have been my third straight win. Instead, all I got was people hating on me. They say, ‘You’re a whiner, why are you trying to get his money?’ It’s not his money. He shouldn’t get anything.”
One can see where Hunt comes from, considering a lot of his competition has been linked to the use of banned substances at some point. Lesnar, Frank Mir and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva are recent examples. The latter, whom Hunt fought twice, was suspended after their original UFC Fight Night 33 encounter.
Silva, who was undergoing the later-prohibited testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) at the time, failed a test after his testosterone levels proved too high. While the slugfest remains hailed as a memorable battle to this day, Hunt doesn’t see it that way.
“Everyone says the first ‘Bigfoot’ fight is one of the greatest heavyweight bouts of all time, but not for me,” Hunt said. “It’s stained. That guy ruined everything. You take away his juice and he’s nothing. The first fight we had, we nearly killed each other. The second fight, when he was clean, he didn’t even last a round.
“He wasn’t the same person as the one that almost frigging killed me. I broke my hand in that first fight. I broke my hand punching a cheater, and I was out for almost a year. I didn’t have work; I had zero income. It takes a lot out of you and has a huge impact on your life.”
But cheaters weren’t the only targets of Hunt’s scathing words. The heavyweight also took aim at the UFC, not only for failing to address the drug issue properly, but also for failing to properly financially compensate their fighters.
“It pisses me off when some fighters say, ‘It’s great to be part of the UFC, it pays the bills,'” Hunt wrote. “It doesn’t. That’s coming from one of the highest-paid fighters in the world. These guys don’t get paid jack (expletive). For someone that makes $200,000-$300,000 a fight, half of that goes to tax and half again is for their camp.
“Then whatever’s left they’ve got to use for their mortgage. If you’ve worked your arse off to get in the top 10, you should be getting paid properly.”
As upset as he is about the state of affairs, though, Hunt clarifies he’s not done just yet. Coming off a win over Derrick Lewis in June, Hunt is now set to meet Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 121 in November. And, with three fights left, the “The Super Samoan” says he is still after what he set out to do: to become a world champion.
“But the next contract I sign I want to put a clause in – the Mark Hunt clause – where a fighter loses all his money if he is caught doping,” Hunt said. “That could be part of my legacy.
“I’m still one of the best fighters on the planet. I honestly don’t care what anyone says. I’m knocking fools out.”view original article >>