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Mark Hunt returns to meet Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 -- with a caveat

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Mark Hunt is ready for his Octagon return -- if the UFC fulfills a contract alteration.

After a dispute with the UFC over a messy situation at UFC 200, Hunt will take on Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 on March 4 in Las Vegas, the promotion announced Tuesday night on its website. ESPN's Brett Okamoto was first to report the fight as being verbally agreed to.

Hunt said on his website that he'll only fight if the UFC adds provisions in his contract to further protect him in case Overeem fails a drug test.

Hunt (12-10-1, 1 NC) had not accepted a fight for months, because he was upset following the UFC's handling of Brock Lesnar's two drug-test failures in relation to UFC 200. Lesnar beat Hunt by unanimous decision on that card. The positive out-of-competition drug-test results did not come back until after the bout.

Hunt, 42, was angry that the UFC granted Lesnar an exemption from four months of drug testing before UFC 200. The UFC's anti-doping policy says a returning fighter must spend four months in the USADA drug-testing pool before competing again. The promotion can waive that rule in certain circumstances and chose to for Lesnar because he signed just one month before the bout.

Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene, an anti-estrogen agent, in both a pre-fight out-of-competition drug test and a fight-night test. Last week, Lesnar was suspended one year and fined $250,000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) for failing the tests for the banned substance.

Hunt was still not satisfied by that punishment and has been threatening a lawsuit against the UFC and Lesnar. He wanted a piece of Lesnar's $2.5 million purse.

"Would that penalty have sufficed if I had died or been maimed?" Hunt told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani last week.

Hunt, a New Zealand native, has been seeking further protections for fighters who compete against opponents who end up testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. And he still wants new language in his contract in case Overeem pops for PEDs, he told his website MarkHunt.tv.

"I will not fight without this clause," Hunt said. "I've already fought three dopers in a row and I'm not going to fight again without security. All I want is a fair go and an even playing field."

Overeem (41-15, 1 NC) failed a Nevada Athletic Commission out-of-competition drug test in 2012, ahead of what would have been a heavyweight title fight against Junior dos Santos.

The Dutch fighter beat Hunt by first-round submission at Dream 5 in 2008. Overeem, 36, is, like Hunt, one of the most storied heavyweights in MMA history. "The Reem" is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Stipe Miocic in a heavyweight title fight at UFC 203 in September. Overeem won four in a row before that.

No main event has been announced yet for UFC 209, which will take place at T-Mobile Arena.