Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt has been given the chance to fight for the interim UFC heavyweight championship at UFC 180.
Following the withdrawal of current champion Cain Velasquez due to a knee injury, Hunt was offered the vacant spot to take on Fabricio Werdum in Mexico on November 15, 2014.
The Super Samoan who was born in New Zealand currently resides in Sydney’s south west in Minto. This will be his second opportunity at the heavyweight championship after losing his last title fight to Junior dos Santos last May.
Hunt is a former K1 kickboxing champion and is ranked fourth in UFC rankings. If successful next month, he will become the first Australian to wear a UFC belt.
The 40-year-old, who has a mixed martial arts record of 10-8-1, said he had nothing to lose when competing at the top level.
“I feel blessed to have this opportunity to fight for another world title, this is something that doesn’t happen often to people. First K1 and now UFC – how can I say no, even though it’s on short notice?” he said.
His roller coaster ride will come to a halt on November 15.
After losing six of his MMA fights between 2006-2010, Hunt was on the outskirts at the UFC and was told by President Dana White that he was unwanted. His fortunes soon changed when he begged for one more chance and broke his losing streak in 2011. Fast forward three years and the same man that didn’t want him (White) in the UFC, called him to save his show.
Hunt will need to cut down his weight from 137kgs to 120kgs within three weeks before the weigh in.
“This is an amazing opportunity and even though I’m not in fight shape or anything, there was never a doubt I was going to take it,” he said.
UFC 180 will be held on November 15, 2014 in Mexico. – David Telefoni
Top photo from Koichi Taniguchi Flickr photostream.