When Mark Hunt isn't happy, he damn sure let's you know about it. We've come to expect our athletic exports from Aotearoa and the south pacific to maintain a certain down-to-Earth nature, as honest as they are funny and while it may not be in overly wholesome fashion, Hunt certainly has no qualms in keeping it real.
After putting other fighters on blast for using performance enhancing drugs and subsequently putting the UFC on blast for allowing Hunt to fight these guys, Hunt has now responded to news that he was pulled from UFC Sydney;
The UFC appears to have pulled Hunt from his fight against Marcin Tybura due to medical concerns, stemming from Hunt's yarn in Player's Voice. Conveniently, Hunt's replacement is Frabricio Werdum, who had his fight against Derrick Lewis aborted at the last minute at UFC 216 as Lewis was a late withdrawal via injury.
This is about as messy as it gets when you consider that Hunt is currently taking legal action against the UFC for the Brock Lesnar situation, thus putting Hunt and the UFC against each other. When Hunt went down the legal route, I thought that it would cloud his UFC future as the UFC (understandably to some extent) wouldn't be super keen on supporting a fighter who was taking legal action against them; other than following through on Hunt's contract. In the same breath, Hunt was standing up against the system and standing up for his rights, so that was cool to see the UFC who represents us, doing so. Such legal action was always going to make the Hunt x UFC relationship super weird though.
At the moment, this is a bit of a back and forth as the UFC highlighted medical concerns to which Hunt and his manager responded in saying that Hunt had passed all tests/examinations that the UFC made Hunt do, after that Player's Voice yarn. The UFC is publicaly saying that Hunt isn't fit to fight and are protecting him and their own product by not allowing Hunt to fight with the concussion microscope zoned in on them. Hunt's saying he passed all the tests, so leggo.
What you believe is up to you and both sides present reasonable cases, but Hunt didn't do himself any favours by writing that Player's Voice thing, or writing it about his own concussion symptoms. Hunt's honesty is hurting him as it's definitely weird for a fighter - key word there as fighters get hit in the head for a living - to openly outline any level of concussion symptoms in the current climate; why would you do that?
If Jesse Bromwich wrote a yarn that was predominantly about the concussion symptons he battles on a daily basis, then the NRL and Melbourne Storm would have to tell him to chill and sit on the sidelines.
To continue this comparison, when a league player gets concussed, they usually try to stay on the field. So athletes can't be relied on to judge their own well-being in terms of concusion.
This is the UFC's duty and we've seen around the world where athletes take legal action against their club or governing body for not having the athlete's well-being as a priority - not enforcing concussion rules, not offering the right protection, rushing athletes back etc. The UFC is kinda just doing their duty, based on what Hunt wrote.
Hunt also states that he was 'misquoted' in the Player's Voice. The whole point of the Player's Voice is that athletes write these things themselves, although you'd have to be foolish to think that they don't have someone assisting them in the writing process. The idea of being 'misquoted' in something that is written by that person is a bit weird and even if behind-the-scenes the person didn't actually 'write' it, it was published by a great website that is based on the sole idea of athletes writing their yarns unfiltered. And it's published as being written by 'Mark Hunt - Contributor'.
How can you misquote yourself?
When this saga began, I struggled to see how it could end well and we are currently watching it play out before us. Unfortunately, it appears as though Hunt has given the UFC ammunition by opening up on his own concussion stuff. Regardless of whether the UFC's motives are in genuine concern for Hunt's well-being, or slightly more slimey (maybe they are being slimey?), Hunt served them the ammunition to make their moves. Hunt and the UFC were already in a precarious position and it was Hunt who slipped up, now the UFC are simply doing their duty to protect their fighter.
Peace and love 27.
If you enjoyed the read then hit an ad to show your support to the Niche Cache. You'll be making a donation, without having to pay anything. How easy is that?