Citing "medical concerns", the UFC has opted to pull Mark Hunt from a planned main event fight at UFC Fight Night 121 vs. Marcin Tybura. Hunt's spot will be filled by former UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, who needed just 65 seconds to submit Walt Harris at UFC 216 on October 7.
The Brazilian was originally approached to fight Hunt at UFC 121, but much to the Sydneysider's dismay he turned the fight down.
UFC Fight Night 121 takes place November 19 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
"Sometimes I don't sleep well". Despite that, he's been a longtime critic of the UFC's business and an advocate for increased fighter pay.
Hunt detailed the head trauma issues gained from a long career in MMA and the UFC reacted immediately to his comments, but 43-year-old insisted he was "misquoted".
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"Following a recent first-person article published by UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt, UFC has taken the precautionary steps of removing Hunt from a previously announced bout in Sydney, Australia", the statement read.
"I have passed all medicals two days ago and spent $100,000 on camp".
"My body is f-- but my mind is still here", Hunt wrote for Players Voice. "I don't slur my words, and [it] is a is a running joke between my wife and me my memory isn't that great, but who remembers shit they don't want to". My memory is not that good anymore.
Hunt has been at extreme odds with the UFC ever since the loss to Lesnar, whom he claims was given special treatment and unfairly allowed to fight in the Octagon after receiving a waiver to avoid the usual six-month USADA testing return in order to compete in the UFC. "But I've fought a lot of drug cheats and copped a lot of punishment from guys who were cheating and that's not right".
Werdum, meanwhile, just competed this past weekend at UFC 216, and quickly submitted Walt Harris. It's also unclear why the UFC would pull Hunt from the card for any reason other than fighter safety, given they'd already booked and promoted the bout.