Mark Hunt is one of the toughest fighters the sport of mixed martial arts has ever seen, but that doesn’t mean he’s immune to the effects of being punched and kicked in the face for a living.
Next year the 43-year-old ‘Super Samoan’ will have been professionally fighting in combat sports for two decades, and he admits that it’s taken a toll on both his mind and his body.
“My body is f**ked but my mind is still here,” Hunt told the PlayersVoice website. “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. I’ll forget something I did yesterday but I can remember the s**t 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.”
Hunt is coming off a TKO win over Derrick Lewis back in June, but looking further back over the past few years his once unbreakable chin has been cracked on several occasions, including a KO loss to Alistair Overeem in March, but the New Zealander continues to remain fearless about the consequences of trading heavy leather with some of the hardest hitting people on the planet.
“This is what I’m supposed to be doing and if I die fighting, that’s fine. I just hope that if it does happen, it will be in an honest and fair competition.”
Fighters using performance enhancing drugs has been a source of anger and frustration for the veteran star for quite a while now, having gone up against several fighters who have since been caught cheating, and he believes they have kept him back from reaching his full potential in the sport.
“I’d be champ already if it wasn’t for the cheaters. I’d probably be retired, sitting at home playing video games all day, eating KFC. These guys couldn’t cut it with me if they weren’t cheating. I’ve missed out on sponsors and millions of dollars. It pisses me off when I think about it. If you take away all my fights against juicers, it would probably be half of my fight record gone. I paid my way to the top with blood and sweat, these guys had to enhance themselves to get here.”
Still, the No.5 ranked Hunt isn’t finished yet and says he’s going to see out the remaining three fights on his current UFC deal.
“I want to win that world title. It’s a dream of mine to be a mixed martial arts world champion. I’ve been the best fighter in the world at kickboxing – they can’t take that away from me – but when I started in MMA I realized how great this sport is. It’s the ultimate combat sport and that’s why I want to be the world’s best at it.”