Even more cynical fans must be sneaking in the odd smile now that Mark Hunt is set to challenge for the UFC’s interim heavyweight title on November 15th, as it is the latest chapter in a remarkable story.
As 2011 began, Hunt’s MMA career appeared to be over due to a six fight winning streak, but since then the feared slugger has bombed his way into the UFCs top five ranks. Now, Hunt has been tapped as a late replacement for injured champion Cain Velasquez, and will battle Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180. Once again, Hunt is knocking on the door for a title shot. Few people, if anyone, was saying that would happen a couple of years ago.
Hunt has approximately three weeks to prepare for Werdum, who has nasty submission skills and a very underrated striking game. While speaking to FOX Sports.com recently about the upcoming fight, the charismatic Hunt relayed the following:
“I’m feeling right now like I’m over weight. What’s going to change for me is a hell of a lot of training and dieting. The opportunity is there for me and I’m happy about it,” Hunt said.
“I’m going to focus on dropping the weight and knocking Fabricio’s face off.”
The 40 year-old Hunt also acknowledged that since these types of opportunities don’t arise very often, he’s grabbed it “with both hands” and is “running with it.” Amen to that.
Regardless of who wins the fight, November 15th is going to be one fascinating night. The only man who has defeated Hunt since 2010, and in his last 7 fights, is former champ Junior dos Santos.
During that time the decorated kickboxer has taken out vets like Cheick Kongo, Stefan Struve and most recently Roy Nelson (in walk off fashion…).
Werdum, meanwhile, has won four in a row and most recently decisioned fellow contender Travis Browne.
UFC 180 will go down in Mexico City, Mexico and will be available via pay-per-view.