Mark Hunt Says He is Being “Pretty Much Forced” To Fight at UFC 209

(AP Photo/John Locher)

It wasn’t that long ago that UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt promised to retire if he didn’t get a share of Brock Lesnar’s fight purse after the former champ (and current WWE superstar) tested positive for banned substances after their bout at UFC 200.

Hunt demanded that the UFC give him some (or all) of Lesnar’s $2.5 million disclosed payday. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Then he demanded that his contract be changed so that he could claim that kind of repayment should a future opponent test positive. That didn’t happen either. Hunt has since launched a lawsuit against the UFC, Dana White, and Lesnar. In the meantime, though, Hunt is booked to face fellow heavyweight Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 in March. That makes for an interesting conflict of interest, but Hunt insists he had no choice but to sign on for the fight.

“They put me in a position, like well what am I supposed to do?” said Hunt on a recent episode of “The MMA Hour” with Ariel Helwani. “They forced this fight on me, pretty much.

“I couldn’t go anywhere else,” he explained. “That’s the position right now it is. If I couldn’t work anywhere else and I’m still trying to get my fair deal in this thing, what am I supposed to do? If they’re going to let me go, let me go. At least I can go work somewhere else. I’ve gotta look after my family and my commitments as well. And they can’t just sit me at the back of the bus without having any work. You can’t do that.”

Overeem has a history of PED use as well, although he has tested clean in his most recent fights. Hunt was furious when he heard Lesnar failed his drug tests, which meant that the 42-year old Hunt had now faced three opponents in a row who were taking some sort of banned substance.

Hunt had demanded a release from his contract if the UFC wouldn’t alter the language in it. The UFC refused to budge, so if Hunt wants to earn any money, he’ll need to fight for the organization. Still, it’s a situation that looks ugly no matter which angle you look at it from.

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