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Mark Hunt says ‘there’s a lot of scared puppies out there’ hindering a UFC fighters union

Mark Hunt (EL, MMA F)
Heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt fights Derrick Lewis on June 11 at UFC Fight Night 110.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Mark Hunt scored an early victory ahead of his UFC Fight Night 110 showdown against Derrick Lewis.

Last week, Hunt’s lawsuit against the UFC, Dana White, and Brock Lesnar survived a motion to dismiss by the defendants, allowing Hunt’s case to move forward in the courts. The win was a small but important one for Hunt in the ongoing saga of Lesnar’s failed drug test at UFC 200, however the “Super Samoan” isn’t getting ahead of himself when it comes to the bigger picture.

“I’m never confident about anything, especially with law,” Hunt said Monday on The MMA Hour. “All I’m trying to do is get a fair go at fighting. I’m sick of fighting these juicers, and like I said before, if they didn’t do enough to keep me happy, I’ll just do it myself. You guys put me in this position. I didn’t put myself in this position. I didn’t do anything wrong here. So you need to fix what you did wrong and change things, because like I said before, someone’s going to die.

“But I’m glad that the judge allowed it to go through to discovery, which is good.”

In the amended complaint filed last week, Hunt alleged the UFC, White and Lesnar knew of Lesnar’s performance-enhancing drug use but aided Lesnar in fighting Hunt at UFC 200 regardless. Lesnar went on to test positive for the banned substance clomiphene in two separate drug screenings, the results of both of which were unavailable until after the fight, which Lesnar won via unanimous decision. The Nevada Athletic Commission subsequently overturned that result into a ‘no contest’ and fined Lesnar a total of $250,000.

Altogether, the moment was a breaking point for Hunt, a 43-year-old heavyweight legend who has fought numerous UFC opponents who either possessed a checkered PED past or popped positive immediately after facing Hunt. Hunt said he hopes the lawsuit helps show “how corrupt this bullsh*t is,” and vowed to continue speaking his mind about his situation without fear of UFC repercussions.

“I don’t really care. If they want to fire me, go right ahead,” Hunt said. “It doesn’t do anything, I’ll just find a new contract. Like I said, if that’s the case, then why even want to be a part of the UFC? I’ve done nothing wrong here. All I’ve done is been a good company man, [fighting] all the time. You want me to fight? Yeah, when’s the date and where? Look, I’m just sick of fighting these juicers. They just keep giving me f*cking cheaters, so that’s all I’m trying to do is make it fair so that I can get a shot at fighting here for a title. And every time I start getting a run on, I get a f*cking juicehead because that’s all they have. So like I said, if they want to fire me now, go right ahead.

“I don’t give a rat’s,” Hunt continued. “Man, why would I give a rat’s about something, like I said, being in a company that treats you like dirt? Why would I want to be a part of that sh*t? ... I’ve been fighting cheaters. They got freakin’ help and they got away with it. So being part of such a sh*tty company who treats you like this, why would I want to be here? Fire me. F*ck, I’m out of here. I can go do something else.”

Hunt’s suit comes at a time in which fighter unrest is the highest it’s ever been in the UFC, at least publicly. He said hopes his cause makes a difference to help future generations “reap the rewards of being the best fighter and having great money, instead of being a great fighter but being broke.” Hunt noted that “a lot of other fighters are getting thrown under the bus all the time,” stating as much on the same day one of the best pound-for-pound fighters the sport has ever seen, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, went public with his own accusations of “mistreatment and bullying” from the UFC.

One much-discussed solution that could potentially help fighters handle such grievances would be a UFC fighters union or association. Hunt has offered his support causes like that in the past, but remains unenthusiastic about any unionization progress thus far.

“I’m just focused on fighting and on the court case,” Hunt said. “Like I said, with the union, I don’t know what’s going on. All the fighters need to band together for that, but there’s a lot of scared puppies out there.

“I hope a union starts or something happens, but it’s all big talk, big talk, but that’s all it is at the moment. Just talk. Right now, it’s nothing.”

As it stands, Hunt still has enough on his plate dealing with the challenge looming ahead of him this weekend. His battle in Auckland against Lewis is a major fight for the heavyweight division and is essentially a homecoming for Hunt, who was born and raised in nearby South Auckland. And despite all of the negativity that surrounds his current relationship with the UFC, Hunt said he is still enjoying the fisticuffs side of the sport as much as he ever has.

“The last time I fought here was 15 years ago and it was a Muay Thai fight. Now it’s MMA with the biggest company in the world,” Hunt said.

“It’s good to be here again a second time, regardless of the gloomy cloud hanging over the whole situation. It’s going to be a great event. Derrick Lewis is hopefully one of the clean ones and we’ll put on a good show this weekend. It’s a good opportunity for a lot of (local) fighters here.”

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