Mark Hunt may be turning 45 in the not too distant future, and his current UFC deal will end tonight, but it sounds like we’re going to see the legendary slugger fight several more times yet.
Hunt is preparing to take on Justin Willis tonight at the UFC’s latest event in Adelaide, Australia. The fight will be Hunt’s 18th in the Octagon, and it will also be the last on his UFC contract. Due to Hunt’s well documented issues with the UFC, including an ongoing lawsuit, the consensus is that the heavyweight will be moving on. In recent weeks, Hunt has also said that he intends to fight elsewhere.
But, now that the end of Hunt’s deal has finally arrived, how is he feeling about his future? While talking to the media this week, the Australian resident said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“It’s my last one, so I’m happy about that,” Hunt said, while referring to the fact that he got his wish: another bout in Australia. “I’m glad that the UFC has allowed me to do this. It’s great, so now I get to share the stage with Tai and Tyson again and all the Aussie boys, which is great.”
“I don’t think so, to be honest,” Hunt noted, when asked if he could resign with the UFC. “Looking at trying to do some other things next year. I want to compete five more times, at least – because I still have the fire inside of me to do it – and go from there. We’ll see what happens.”
Now, if Hunt loses badly to Justin Willis tonight, then maybe the star could change his mind and decide to walk away from fighting. But, it certainly doesn’t sound like Hunt hasn’t given retirement much thought. In fact, it sounds like we could be seeing Hunt fight in 2019 and 2020. After all, it’s hard to imagine him fighting five times in one year.
Due to the growth of MMA in Australia and New Zealand, thanks to stars like Robert Whittaker, Tai Tuivasa, Israel Adesanya, and Hunt, among other others, there has been speculation as to whether the latter could, in fact, resign with the UFC. Hunt also reportedly said that “of course it’s about money” while discussing his next contract / promotion. But, it would be pretty surprising, considering everything that’s gone down between Hunt and the UFC if he returned to the Octagon.
Hunt heads into UFC Adelaide with a MMA record of 13-13-1.