It’s been a good couple of years since we last saw UFC heavyweight and fan favorite Mark Hunt compete in any form of combat sports. After fighting out his UFC deal (while in the midst of suing his employer), the feeling was, a promotion like Bellator or RIZIN would quickly scoop the popular Kiwi up.
That has not been the case. Instead, he gets back to work this weekend in a boxing match with former Rugby player Paul Gallen. The pair fight Wednesday in Sydney, Australia.
Ahead of the fight, the trash talk has apparently been fierce — at least enough to get under 46-year old Hunt’s skin. Which might be why he lost his cool at Tuesday’s weigh-in, taking a swing at Gallen and resulting in a brief fracas with both men separated in the end.
Yo they’re just about to punch on at the weigh ins pic.twitter.com/j4taZmFxGH
— Brendan Bradford (@1bbradfo) December 15, 2020
Hunt (13-14-1, 1NC) was an unstoppable force at times in the UFC, one of the hardest hitting heavyweights in the business. Legendary for his walk-off KOs and durability, he ran up a four fight win streak from 2011 to 2013 to bounce back from a six-fight skid, refusing to be bought out of his contract in the process.
Later in 2013, Hunt would battle Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva to a majority draw in a fight many consider one of the best heavyweight bouts of all time. After knocking out the granite-chinned Roy Nelson in his next fight, Hunt went up against Fabricio Werdum for the UFC interim heavyweight title.
While he would fall short against Werdum, Hunt even fighting for a title in the UFC was something that was once unthinkable. Over the span of his career, Hunt holds wins over Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro-Cop, Ben Rothwell, Stefan Struve, Roy Nelson, Frank Mir, and Derrick Lewis.
The boxing match against Gallen will mark his first time competing in the sport in over 20 years, although Hunt was also a highly respected kickboxer.
Earlier this year, in an interview with MMA Fighting, Hunt said that his time with the UFC “took away my love for fighting,” which in part likely delayed his return to action. At least until this week. Hunt has also joined the anti-trust lawsuit against his former employer.