Earlier this month, UFC heavyweight and fan favorite Mark Hunt raised eyebrows when he posted a thinly veiled reference to being out of a job on his twitter account only to later retract the statement and blame it on confusion from not having eaten. Now Hunt is a big man and no doubt hates skipping a meal, but the more likely explanation (beyond hunger-induced dementia) was that Hunt was embroiled in some contract negotiations that simply weren’t going his way.
Scheduled to take on another fan fave, Roy Nelson, in Japan in September at UFC Fight Night 50 in a long-awaited clash of the titans, Hunt is a fighter loved for his style and refusal to quit. The UFC offered to buy out his contract when he was acquired along with the rest of the Pride organization, but Hunt, at the time on a five-fight losing streak, refused to quit and insisted on fighting for the UFC. His comeback story and rise into the top ten of the UFC’s heavyweight division is a classic underdog tale, so it would make sense that the UFC would keep him around a little while longer. Even at age 40, Hunt puts on a show.
Well, Hunt can sleep a little easier at night knowing that he has a new six-fight deal with the UFC that will likely take him to the end of his career in mixed martial arts.
The news was first broke by Ariel Helwani on UFC Tonight where it was also suggested that the six-fight contract would take him into retirement (he’d likely be 43 or or so by its end).
Hunt will probably never challenge for a title in the UFC, but there are a ton of entertaining fights he could turn up in that could headline a Fight Pass or Fox Sports card, or co-headline a Pay-per-View event. His bout with Antonio Silva late last year is considered by many to be one of the greatest heavyweight MMA bouts of all time, and he’s still capable of putting on such a show moving forward.