Mark Hunt isn't backing down from his legal battles with the UFC.
At UFC 200, Mark Hunt fought the most high profile fight of his life, welcoming back former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar; Hunt lost by decision. After the event, Lesnar was flagged by USADA for failing both an out-of-competition drug test a few weeks before the event as well as an in-competition test. Lesnar failed after testing for hydroxy-clomiphen, a banned estrogen blocker. He's been temporarily suspended until a full hearing can be adjudicated. Hunt is livid.
In the aftermath of the failed test, Hunt was fuming. He demanded half of Lesnar's $2.5 million purse in recompense or demanded a release from the UFC. Shortly after that he railed on the UFC and Lesnar for their doping policy and ineffectiveness. Then, just last week Hunt hired San Diego attorney Christina Denning to explore possible legal actions against the UFC.
On The Luke Thomas Show on SiriusXM radio Thursday, Denning spoke with Thomas about Hunt's goals going forward and how the relationship is currently between Hunt and the UFC.
"Simply with respect to moving forward, Mark is getting older. He's in his 40's now. He is tired of fighting people who are, what he calls, 'juicers.' That does nothing for his brand when he has to take a loss and then it comes out later that the person is doping... That's not advancing his career. So moving forward he wants to have bout agreements that provide for compensation to the non-doping fighter if one of the competitors is ultimately found to be doping. He thinks that would provide a deterrent for fighters to violate the anti-doping provisions."
Hunt faced criticism from many fans for his reaction to the situation, in part because before the fight Hunt gave many interviews where he claimed that Lesnar was "juiced to the gills" but consented to the fight anyway (Hunt's comments at the time were in reference to Lesnar receiving a special exemption from the UFC to bypass USADA's mandatory four month testing period). He was also criticized because Lesnar is the third UFC opponent to have failed a drug test against Hunt, but Lesnar is the first to have gotten this reaction from the "Super Samoan."
Denning says Hunt's reaction isn't sour grapes but that the Lesnar situation was the final straw for a man who spent his career fighting opponents who were cheating and has been let down by the UFC for allowing it to continue.
"This is not a new concept. All the sudden Mark hasn't woken up after this Lesnar fight and said, 'I really want to do something about doping violations.' He's always had a great disdain for doping in his sport and in the sport that he's chosen to pursue. In his book...he expresses relief that when he finally got to the UFC, that the UFC actually had some anti-doping policies...This is not just coming out of nowhere for him. This is something he's felt strongly about and he feels really let down by the UFC and he really wants to fight. He really wants to fight again, he just doesn't want to be thrown in the ring with another person that tests positive for steroids.
"He's had enough... He has a family. He's getting older. These could be the last years of his fighting if he does ever fight again. He realizes that it's just become very unfair and he's sick of it and he doesn't to end up hurt or dead and he doesn't want anyone else to either."
Hunt's desire to fight may be genuine, but his window is closing quickly. Hunt is 42 years old and a protracted legal battle with the UFC would likely mean Hunt never setting foot in the cage again. It was this same pressure which facilitated Randy Couture ending his contractual disagreements with the UFC back in 2008.
With this in mind, Hunt and Denning are attempting to resolve the situation without a legal battle and the UFC seems willing to oblige some, even offering Hunt a rematch with former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. A win over dos Santos would put Hunt right at the top of the potential title challenger list but Hunt and Denning aren't willing to give ground on what they see as fair. Ultimately the UFC refused their contract conditions, causing Hunt to turn down the fight. Still, Denning says the door remains open for future discussion.
"Mark turned down the upcoming UFC 206 fight against Junior dos Santos because the UFC wouldn't agree to the terms that we have proposed. The UFC folks haven't shut any doors on us and they haven't said we'll never talk to you about a provision like this in the contracts. The door is open. I'm waiting for the UFC to call us and come up with a resolution.
"Normally I'd just file a lawsuit... but we are talking about it because he want's to resolve it and he wants to fight. He just wants a fair fight. That's what the UFC anti-doping policy, that's what they state is the goal of it, to have a level playing field and it's not."
The. Best. Joanna Jedrzejczyk says she "isn't the prettiest" but that she is the best.
Not afraid. Donald Cerrone says he will gladly be the face of a fighter's union.
Not a good look. Michael Bisping responds to Jacare's manager calling him out, noting injuries hampering him.
Of course. Miesha Tate still wants to fight Ronda Rousey.
Cowboy talking McGregor.
Miesha on Cowherd's show
Chael talking Rockhold injury.
Dana on TMZ about Ronda
El Cucuy says he's gonna drop to 145 and fight at 170 as well.
Fights Gone By
Times are changing.
Had my last day in UFC offices today as I head off to NYC for 205. What a run. Thankful and grateful.— Dave Sholler (@DaveSholler) November 3, 2016
Want to wish @LeneeBreck best of luck in her new role as UFC VP of Communications. She's going to continue to do BIG things for the sport!— Dave Sholler (@DaveSholler) November 2, 2016
What strawweight has big boobies? https://t.co/owyaxBSUqB— Angela Hill (@AngieOverkill) November 2, 2016
A brief saga of leverage.
You're legit. Agent looked you up and you are a tough out for anyone. It would be an honor but I've been told to stay quiet. https://t.co/YyHK2ZQdni— Bryan Caraway (@BryanCaraway) November 3, 2016
Pump fake like whoa.
PSA for Everybody coming soon...— Anthony Johnson (@Anthony_Rumble) November 2, 2016
Mike Perry dubbed a training video of his to Roy Jones Jr.'s rap song. That happened.
I asked my coach if it was cool to post this video. I don't usually post my training or sparring against training partners. He said I should because I look invincible lol. My life has recently changed in certain areas but there are many things that remain the same. The squad. The hard work. The suffering is definitely still on the agenda ! Thank you to all my guys who've made my success possible. A lot of them are in this video. Hard work always pays off boys. There is no top ! We climb to endless heights ! It just keeps getting better ! 1 Love my brothers ! #Platinum #MMA #JSmoove #Chopper #PhreshPrince @dnickerson5
Looking pretty good.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2001: Wanderlei Silva scored a TKO victory over Kazushi Sakuraba (the second time they fought) to claim the Pride middleweight championship at Pride 17. Also that evening, Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera won a unanimous decision over Heath Herring to be crowned the Pride heavyweight champion.
This night was also supposed to have Strikeforce: Cormier vs. Mir but that event was cancelled.
Stipe effect ain't real y'all. See you tomorrow.
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