Mark Hunt could wind up headlining the UFC’s debut in Russia, according to a new report.
The UFC’s debut in Russia is about to get some Samoan flavor. Mark Hunt, a.k.a. ‘The Super Samoan,’ is reportedly being eyed as the replacement for Fabricio Werdum in the UFC Moscow main event. Though not formally announced, it was widely reported earlier in the week that Werdum would meet Oleksiy Oliynyk (Aleksei Oleinik) in the Fight Night card’s headliner. However, a failed drug test by Werdum (which he believes is a misunderstanding) scuttled that almost as soon as the news broke.
Now, MMA Fighting has confirmed a report by MMATeamDagestan on Twitter that Hunt is being targeted to step into the bout. If that is in fact that case, Hunt will replace one of the many fighters he’s faced under the UFC banner either accused of or found to be using performance enhancing drugs. It will also mark his first appearance in the octagon since a loss to Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221 in Perth, Australia this past February.
Hunt (13–12–1 (1)) is 3-2 (1NC) in his last six trips to the octagon. The no contest in that span was a UFC 200 unanimous decision loss to Brock Lesnar, after which Lesnar was found to have tested positive for a banned substance. Though the decision was overturned, Hunt elected to sue both the UFC and Lesnar, claiming the promotion knowingly allowed a dirty fighter to compete. That litigation is still ongoing.
At 44 years old, Hunt remains the oldest active fighter on the UFC roster. He has been adamant that he intends to fight out his contract, then seek employment elsewhere.
At spry 40 years old himself, Oliynyk (56–11–1) has been competing since 1996. He’ll enter UFC Moscow off a win over Junior Albini at UFC 224. That submission victory saw the Ukrainian born Russian secure his second win in the promotion by Ezekiel choke. No other fighter has ever successfully used the finish in UFC history.
UFC Moscow (UFC Fight Night 136) takes place September 15 at the Olimpiyskiy Arena in Moscow, Russia.