Mark Hunt Is Still In Contention For The UFC Heavyweight Title
The comeback story for Mark Hunt is not over yet. In fact, it may be as strong as it was prior to his loss to Junior dos Santos. Call it being in the right place at the right time in the right division, but Hunt could still find himself in a title fight for the heavyweight strap with two to three more victories.
It is interesting how a man could lose six in a row, with one of those loses coming in his UFC debut, and still be considered a possible contender. An inherited fighter when PRIDE was purchased by Zuffa, Hunt was never supposed to be a hot commodity. He was supposed to be a fighter that would be forced to retire due to bad performance.
A four-fight win streak later (including wins against Chris Tuchscherer, Ben Rothwell, Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve) he finds himself in a title-eliminator against dos Santos. During that four-fight win streak only one opponent made it to the final bell (Rothwell).
Currently ranked outside the top-10 in the UFC rankings and eighth by ESPN, the heavyweight landscape is perfect for the Super Samoan. After the title fight between Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum, there is no guaranteed contender for the title. Each heavyweight ranked in the UFC top-10 has something going against them in regards to a possible title shot.
Daniel Cormier (ranked second) moved to light-heavyweight. Antonio Silva (ranked fourth) has already lost to Velasquez twice, and dos Santos (ranked first) has completed his trilogy against the champ. The Travis Browne/Josh Barnett (ranked fifth and sixth respectfully) fight could serve as a title-eliminator if the UFC so chooses. Alistair Overeem (ranked seventh) is riding a two-fight losing streak, and Frank Mir has lost his past three fights.
Stipe Miocic (ranked ninth) will need at least one or two more fights to be in title contention, and Roy Nelson (ranked 10th) has dropped two in a row.
With only three fighters even in a possible position to fight for a title, Hunt could find himself in a title-eliminator sooner rather than later. With only one loss in the past two years, a victory over Silva on Dec. 6 could put the big man in prime position for a title run.