It wasn't long ago that UFC heavyweight contender Mark Hunt was literally cursing his promoter, calling it a "sh-t company," and publicly declaring that he was exploring his legal options against the UFC. But now it appears that Hunt has had a change of heart and will compete in the Octagon again.
The promotion announced Tuesday that Hunt will face-off against fellow former K-1 kickboxing Heavyweight Grand Prix Alistair Overeem on March 4 at UFC 209. It's a bit shocking that Hunt is back to doing business with the promotion that he's been railing against so much, lately.
Over the past few months Hunt wasn't very happy about the way the UFC and its hired drug tester USADA mishandled the lead-up to his July contest against Brock Lesnar. #BrockLesnar was allowed to forego months of USADA called-for drug screening in advance of his return to competition at UFC 200. Then, he was tested in the immediate run-up to the contest and gave failing samples but was still allowed to fight.
Hunt got beaten up pretty badly in his loss to Lesnar, so it is little wonder that he didn't take much solace in the wrassler's recent Nevada State Athletic Commission fine and sanction for the pre-UFC 200 doping. Hunt unloaded verbally in tweets and interviews on the UFC for the whole situation in the past months in ways hardly ever seen before by the MMA organization's athletes.
#MarkHunt hasn't tweeted about the bout announcement or given any other public comments, but one would have to assume he's had at least a partial change of heart with regards to his plans to consider seeking legal remedy against the UFC. What's more, Hunt's next opponent is a particularly ironic choice given that "The Super Samoan" has crusaded against performance-enhancing drugs and claimed that he's competed against them for his entire career.
Although it is a rematch of their 2008 DREAM fight where Overeem submitted Hunt, there is a hint of irony in the fact that the hulking Overeem has run from and failed PED tests in the past. Most notably in 2012 when he was slated to face Junior dos Santos but was pulled after he failed a pre-fight drug test.
One would imagine Hunt views his Dutch opponent as just another doping opponent, but doesn't seem to care enough to not take an opportunity to smack him around, a bit.