clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mark Hunt plans on issuing the UFC an ultimatum after Brock Lesnar's hearing

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Back in July, a little more than a week after he lost a main event bout against Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, Mark Hunt let it be known he wasn’t happy. Hunt went on The MMA Hour and unloaded on the UFC for allowing Lesnar an exemption to the four-month testing window required of fighters coming back from any lengthy hiatus. Lesnar tested positive for the anti-estrogen agent hydroxy-clomiphene, and was temporarily suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Hunt demanded that the UFC pay him half of Lesnar’s purse for the event, which NAC records state was $2.5 million in show money. There was also substantial payout to Lesnar for pay-per-view points. Hunt doubled-down later and asked for Lesnar’s full purse. Throughout all of this, the UFC has remained silent.

But a couple of months later, Hunt is standing his ground. Though the New Zealand fighter still hadn’t spoken to the UFC back when he did the show in July, he says he did shortly after it aired.

"They called later on and told me nothing could happen until Brock Lesnar has his day in court, and things will be sorted out then," Hunt told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I still feel we should have harsher penalties in MMA and in this sport. There should be no tolerance for cheaters, especially in fighting. When you’re hurting someone and these guys go deliberately enhance themselves, I feel they should lose everything. They shouldn’t get any money, anything at all. They should be penalized and even put to court.

"I’m still trying to change things and make it an even playing field. It’s not easy, but still that’s what I want to happen. So it’s a work in progress."

The 42-year-old Hunt has been vocal about stamping out cheaters in the sport of mixed martial arts, particularly since he has fought a number of fighters that have popped for banned substances in the last couple of years. His previous opponent, Frank Mir, tested positive for oral turinabol metabolites, which is classified as an anabolic steroid.

His 2013 Fight of the Year candidate against Antonio Silva was marred when Silva tested for elevated testosterone.

Because of these, Hunt has been on a mission to change things for the better, even with the third-party United States Anti-Doping Agency now testing the entire roster out of competition. He said he would expect other fighters who’ve been victimized by cheats in the sport — such as current middleweight champion, Michael Bisping — to speak up for harsher punishment.

"I mean, [Bisping]’s a champion now, and he should be speaking up about this sort of thing," Hunt said. "Well, he is actually — but he should be trying to change these laws and make it a lot harsher and giving the normal guys a fair go."

Hunt hired a lawyer in August to help with his case. Yet despite taking that action, he says the UFC has continued to offer him fights and proceed as normal. 

"The UFC has offered me two fights," he said. "I missed out on a lot of money."

One of the spots offered to Hunt was this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 101 card, which takes place in Melbourne, Australia. Hunt said the UFC offered him a fight against Josh Barnett, but that he insisted on clauses in his contract that would protect him in the event that Barnett tested positive for any banned substances.

He said he is seeking a "fair environment," and so far the UFC isn’t giving in to his clause demands.

"They offered me another fight, I think it was in Canada against JDS [Junior dos Santos]," he said. "I said I’ll take this fight if you put in a clause saying that if he is doping, then I get all of the money.

"The answer was no."

Lesnar was supposed to appear before the NAC on Nov. 10, but filed a continuance pushing the hearing back to no sooner than December. Hunt, who has called for fighters to unionize and asked for his outright release if the Lesnar situation doesn’t get sorted out, said he would sue the UFC is nothing is resolved.

"As soon as we find out what happens with Brock Lesnar, of course," he said. "I want compensation for what’s happened and I want a change. Either that or release me from my contract.

"Like I said, if you’re not going to make it an even playing field or a fair go, you’re not going to put a clause in my contract that says that makes me a feel a bit more better, well then why should I…I’m already in a contract I can’t get out of.

"The way I look at it is, why should my family miss out? Why should I miss out on chasing my dreams because of these dopers. People say, well Mark, you knew he was doping before, well no I didn’t. I never tested him myself, I assumed he was. Look at him…there’s no way that guy’s not on steroids. Coming from WWE, which is an entertainment sport, which is not ever real competition."

The 39-year-old Lesnar could be facing a one-year ban from USADA, another suspension from the NAC, as well as having his unanimous decision victory overturned into a "no contest." Yet Hunt said that PED users should be handed down more severe punishment, given the literal nature of the sport.

"Two years I don’t think is enough penalty for these cheaters," Hunt said. "If you can consider the guy fighting against someone else and takes the guy’s eye out or kills someone, two years is nothing. This should be a really harsh penalty, because this is fighting. This is a brutal sport."

Hunt (12-11-1) had won back-to-back fights before suffering the loss against Lesnar. Overall he has gone 7-5-1 since joining the UFC as part of the Pride FC transaction. Though he was a popular figure in the Japanese-based promotion, Hunt’s late-career resurgence made him a fan favorite in the UFC.

He said those days could be all over, at least with Zuffa. Should he go to another organization, inevitably one with less stringent drug testing than is to be found in the UFC, he says that at least he can accept things at face value, where the promotion isn’t complicit in his failure.

"If they fire me and I could go somewhere else, and at least I go somewhere else I know I’m competing in a sport that’s not really that monitored, in a different company," he said. "UFC has got the most money, they’re the ones that’s got the most protection there, but even then.

"But then why do they allow people to have waivers, to have four-month waivers when they say they are always here to protect the fighters and we’re going to look after you guys to go over your drug test, and we’ll give this clown Brock Lesnar a four-month exemption. What is that rubbish?"

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting