Mark Hunt Plans to Leave UFC Upon Completion of Current Contract

By: Tristen Critchfield
Dec 22, 2017

Mark Hunt has been at odds with the Ultimate Fighting Championship for more than a year now, so it’s not surprising that his days are numbered with the Las Vegas-based promotion.

The 43-year-old New Zealand native is scheduled to face Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia, on Feb. 10. That bout is one of three left on Hunt’s current UFC contract. Once he fulfills that deal, the “Super Samoan” will be ready to move on to a new chapter in his career.

“That will be the end of my career in the UFC,” Hunt told Submission Radio. “I have two fights left and that’s it. You probably know the path I’ve had with the UFC, but you know, it’s business. I haven’t done nothing wrong, I just don’t like to be treated like s—t – even if I’m an employee or whatever and I speak my mind about it and, you know, I’ll go from there. So like I said, three fights left and I’ll move on.”

Hunt was suspended indefinitely and pulled from a proposed UFC Fight Night 121 clash with Fabricio Werdum after he wrote a column for Australia’s Players Voice where he revealed disturbing signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Hunt ripped the UFC following his suspension, which he claimed was punishment for the civil lawsuit he filed against the company, White and Brock Lesnar regarding Lesnar’s failed drug test at UFC 200.

Eventually, Hunt was cleared to compete by specialists at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and booked against Blaydes at UFC 221. The popular knockout artist, who is coming off a fourth-round stoppage of Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 110, still has championship aspirations in the Octagon. But once his current deal is complete, he plans on taking his talents elsewhere.

“Well, of course I’m looking at going and fighting global fights for New Zealand, Australia and probably Japan,” Hunt said. “It depends on what happens. Like I said, I’m still chasing the dream of that world title. I’m in a good position to get a finish in this fight, beat this guy, then move on to the top end. It’s not gonna be easy, but I’ll see what happens and hopefully I get next in line for the world title shot, go from there. So, see what happens.”

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