Mark Hunt’s UFC future seems uncertain, even to him.
“The Super Samoan” told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that he is unsure of where he stands with the promotion after he was removed from the UFC Sydney main event earlier this month.
Hunt was open about potential symptoms of a brain injury in a first-person interview published in September. He has since walked those words back, saying they were taken out of context. But the UFC said he was taken off the November card and replaced with Fabricio Werdum due to medical concerns.
Nearly three weeks since the UFC’s decision, Hunt is not certain where he goes from here with the promotion.
“As soon as we pinpoint what the issue is, we can fix it,” Hunt said. “I’m willing to take more tests. You tell me what I need to do. They’re not saying exactly what’s wrong with me, why they pulled me.”
In an open letter to the Daily Telegraph in Hunt’s native Australia, UFC president Dana White explained his reasoning for not letting the heavyweight fight next month. White said his team asked Hunt to fly to Las Vegas to get tests done at the Lou Ruvo Brain Center and Hunt “refused.” White cited the column in which Hunt said he was slurring words and can’t remember things he did yesterday.
“How can I put a guy with these symptoms he said he’s experiencing immediately back in the Octagon without additional tests?” White wrote. “I definitely wasn’t going to do that. So I did the only thing I could do — which is to pull him off an event that would have him fighting just nine weeks after writing his piece so he can have the proper time to see a specialist.”
Hunt, 43, said he didn’t want to fly to Las Vegas for tests, so he asked if he could just do them in Sydney. Hunt said the UFC told him he could and that’s what he did. Hunt said the tests came back negative of any issues and White’s letter was “rubbish.”
“I did do it in Australia and they still pulled me from the card,” Hunt said. “They didn’t use the doctors results that they got. They still pulled me. They didn't listen to the doctors’ reports. … Why should i have to fly all the way out to Las Vegas for? Why?”
Hunt said if the UFC had told him he had to fly to Vegas or the promotion wouldn’t let him fight Marcin Tybura, he would have done it. But the lawyers he was in contact with never said that, according to Hunt. Hunt said he is still willing to fly to the states for tests now. He believes that the only reason why the UFC is taking these actions is because he has a separate lawsuit against them, stemming from when Brock Lesnar failed a drug test in relation to his UFC 200 fight against Hunt.
White denied that in the letter, saying Hunt has fought twice since the lawsuit was filed and has made $1,645,000 from the UFC in that time. On The MMA Hour, Hunt admitted that dollar figure be true, but he looks at it differently from White.
“That’s money I worked for,” Hunt said. … “You haven’t paid me nothing. I’ve earned that money.”
Hunt believes that it comes down to him being outspoken about what he says is UFC mistreatment and that is the reason why this is happening to him,.
“They don’t like people telling the truth,” Hunt said. “You want the truth? You can’t handle the f*cking truth!”
There are three fights left on his contract, Hunt said. He either wants to fight or he wants to be compensated for those fights.
“They’re got three fights to honor,” Hunt said. “Either pay me out of the contract or give me three fights.”
But when asked if he’d ever fight in the UFC again, Hunt didn’t have an answer. At this point, he said, he just doesn’t know enough about what is next. He is willing, though, to take steps in order to get back into the Octagon.
“If there’s things they want me to do to compete, then fine,” Hunt said. “I’ll do that. I need to do these three fights and move on. … I’m still waiting for what they want me to do. I’m still waiting to here what it is that I need to do to fix this.”