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Mark Hunt on past conditioning issues: 'I'm ready to go five, 10 rounds' at UFC 193

Mark Hunt showed up to his UFC Fight Night 65 main event opposite Stipe Miocic out of shape, and he paid the price in blood.

"The one with Stipe was hard," Hunt said at the UFC 193 open workout media scrum in Melbourne, Australia. "I got beaten up. I beat myself. I lost that fight. It was hard, [and] that’s why I had to [make] some changes. It was me.

"I had to lose like 10 kilograms the day of the weigh-ins, so that wasn’t good. It’s not good for anybody. I’m not doing that again. It’s not happening again."

After seeing Hunt beaten, bloodied and bruised for over 22 minutes, the referee declared mercy in that fight, halting the action and awarding Miocic the fifth-round TKO victory. Following this defeat, Hunt enlisted the help of a nutritionist and set up shop at American Kickboxing Academy Thailand, where he worked to hone his game while better managing his weight.

The results show.

"I had a good nutritionist [this camp] thanks very much for that, and I’m just ready to go – no weight cut this time," Hunt said. "I’m ready to go five, 10 rounds, whatever you need. I’m ready. The Miocic fight doesn’t sit well with me. It still doesn’t. That’s why I’m here, ready."

Facing Antonio Silva at UFC 193 Saturday, Hunt looks to erase what he views as a bad memory. The two previously fought in a Fight of the Year contender at UFC Fight Night 33, a bout which ended in a draw. Silva, however, failed a post-fight drug test, sapping some of the magic from the back-and-forth affair.

While many fight fans crave a reenactment of this past encounter, Hunt is moving on and focusing on the task at hand. He's not into recreating the past.

"Every time somebody mentions that fight to me, it just brings up why it was marred," Hunt said. "It’s going to be a fight. I don’t know how it’s going to go. I’m looking to go knock him out, but we’ll see how it goes. Every fight is different."

Beyond Silva, the future is up in the air for the 41-year-old standup specialist. In the thin UFC heavyweight division, Hunt is always just a few consecutive wins away from a title shot, something that would undoubtedly motivate him to move on and continue to compete.

The way he sees it, however, his fighting spirit will never die – it's just a matter of how long his aging body can hang on and continue to perform.

"Every fight could be my last," Hunt said. "This fight here Saturday night could be my last fight. Who knows?

"Mentally, I could fight forever. I feel I’m the best fighter on the planet. My mind says I can fight forever, but physically, I won’t be able to do it. I love fighting. It’s just harder – you got a lot of young, up-and-coming heavyweights from Australia and New Zealand. They’re bloody damn good, man. It’s hard to keep up with them."

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