Australian mixed martial arts and combat sports fans will be disappointed to hear that UFC heavyweight favourite Mark Hunt has been removed from next month’s UFC Sydney event following comments Hunt made in an article with the Players Voice website.
Fabricio Werdum, a long time rival of Hunt, will step in to face Polish heavyweight Marcin Tybura when the UFC returns to Sydney on November 19th at the Qudos Bank Arena. UFC officials apparently read over the comments made by Hunt about slurring his words and “forgetting something I did yesterday,” and chose to withdraw Hunt from the card pending further medical examinations.
“My body is f*cked but my mind is still here. I’ve still got my senses about me and I know what’s right and wrong, which is the main thing.
“Sometimes I don’t sleep well. You can hear me starting to stutter and slur my words. My memory is not that good anymore,” wrote Hunt for Players Voice.
“I’ll forget something I did yesterday but I can remember the shit I did years and years ago. That’s just the price I’ve paid — the price of being a fighter.
“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.”
When Hunt learned of the news, he immediately took to social media to express his frustrations:
Hunt is currently locked in a legal battle with the UFC and WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar after it was discovered that Lesnar had tested positive for clomiphene, a performance-enhancing substance, following his unanimous decision victory over Hunt at UFC 200 back in 2016. The decision was later overturned, but Hunt endured damage that may not have otherwise been inflicted upon him had the UFC not waived Lesnar’s mandatory drug testing window.
The UFC released a statement regarding Hunt’s withdrawal, saying that it ”will require Hunt undergo further testing” before he fights in the promotion again.
“Following a recent first-person article published by heavyweight Mark Hunt, the UFC has taken the precautionary steps of removing Hunt from a previously announced bout in Sydney, Australia.
“The health-related statements made by Hunt in the article represent the first time UFC was made aware of these claims.
“Athlete health and safety is of the utmost importance to the organisation and it would never knowingly schedule an athlete complaining of health issues for a fight. The organisation will require that Hunt undergo further testing and evaluations prior to competing in any future UFC bout.”
What do you think of Hunt’s withdrawal from the bout? Check out his reaction to the news via Instagram below and let us know what you think!
. "I'm disappointed that I have been withdrawn from the fight, I have passed all medicals 2 days ago. And spent 100,000 on camp. The truth is the legal case I have filed has caused me to be withdrawn. The interview has been taken out of context and want to reassure all my fans, I slur my words only when I have a drink I'm fit and healthy, and would have understood if the UFC requested a medical to ensure my safety, however this is total bullshit fuck you Dana, you've always hated me you dog"