Mark Hunt has been pulled from UFC Sydney’s main event just over a month out from the show. The UFC announced the news in a statement released Tuesday. Stepping in to face Marcin Tybura at the event will be former champion (and Hunt nemesis) Fabricio Werdum.
In its statement, the UFC said that “Due to medical concerns, heavyweight contender Mark Hunt has been removed from his UFC Fight Night main event bout against Marcin Tybura on Nov. 19.” While it did not expand on the nature of those medical concerns, Hunt had recently contributed a story for Player’s Voice in which he said that “Sometimes I don’t sleep well. You can hear me starting to stutter and slur my words. My memory is not that good anymore.” The story was titled “If I Die Fighting, That’s Fine.”
Clearly, the UFC saw this story from one of its most popular, high profile athletes as cause for concern. Not surprisingly, they acted on it.
Hunt, however, was not happy with the decision. Replying to the promotion and in particular UFC President Dana White on social media, Hunt went on a tirade.
@danawhite u peice of s*** motherf***r why u f****s pull me from the fight u getting another lawsuit u f***wit u can kiss my a** u bald headed p***??????? u put that chicken s*** b*** in get f***ed c***sucker
Hunt took particular offense to being replaced by Werdum, a man he has previously sought a rematch with, calling him chicken in slightly more colorful words. Werdum defeated Hunt at UFC 180 to capture the UFC interim heavyweight championship, and would go on to defeat Cain Velasquez to secure the undisputed title.
Hunt would later add, again via social media, that he believed the reason for him being pulled from the card was his current lawsuit against the UFC, stemming from Brock Lesnar’s UFC 200 drug test failure. Lesnar originally secured a win over Hunt at the event that was later changed to a No Contest after failing a drug screening for two prohibited substances.
I spent hours the other day with the doctors I was cleared to fight the interview I did with players voice was misquoted I don’t slur my words and is a is a running joke between my wife and me my memory isn’t that great but who remembers shit they dont want to not good @ufc @danawhite
I’m disappointed that I have been withdrawn from the fight, I have passed all medicals 2 days ago.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 The truth is the legal case I have filed has caused me to be withdrawn.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
Hunt (13–11–1 (1)) last fought in June, defeating Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 110 by TKO in the fourth round. Werdum (22–7–1), meanwhile, fought this past weekend at UFC 216, finishing short-notice replacement Walt Harris in just over a minute.
It’s interesting to see Hunt refer to the Player’s Voice article as an “interview” as he was quoted as author on the story. It’s also unclear why the UFC would pull Hunt from the card for any reason other than fighter safety, given they’d already booked and promoted the bout. In any case, Mark Hunt’s fighting future once again appears to be in limbo.