Heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt suppose to face Polish heavyweight Marcin Tybura (16-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) in the headliner of UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney, which takes place at, Qudos Bank Arena on Sunday, Nov. 19.
UFC president Dana White responded that he has no choice to pull Mark Hunt (13-11-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) from the upcoming event due to medical concerns. Hunt Was removed from the UFC event due to of his published first-person perspective piece for the Players Voice website, where he mentioned brain damage and memory loss.
Heavyweight veteran Mark Hunt was not happy lately with UFC officials and lashed out on White by calling him “bald-headed prick.” for pulling him from cards, claiming that he was given clearance to fight Marcin in Sydney. Hunt also claims that his words from the column were taken out of context which doesn’t weigh much and has no merit.
white said: “How can you take your own words out of context?”
Dana White slams Hunt online comments and apparently said, he even refused to take first class tickets to a brain specialist in the US. White also mentioned that UFC officials are protecting the fighters from themselves, who are already experiencing some serious health problems.
“I get it, they’re fighters and they want to fight. But this only works if safety comes first, and that’s always been my goal — to provide a level playing field and a safe, regulated environment for our fighters to compete in.”
Read White’s full letter first published by the Daily Telegraph:
Let me tell you what I know.
Mark Hunt recently wrote an op-ed piece for an Australian website that described some serious symptoms.
He wrote that he’s starting to stutter and slur his words.
He wrote that he’s not sleeping well.
He wrote that he can’t remember something he did yesterday.
These are his words, from him, but now he’s saying it was taken out of context. How can you take your own words out of context? So you know what I did? My team contacted his management within the first week of learning about these symptoms and offered to fly him to Las Vegas first class to visit the Lou Ruvo Brain Center — which is the best in the world for brain research — to get more tests done. And you know what? He absolutely refused.
How can I put a guy with these symptoms he said he’s experiencing immediately back in the Octagon without additional tests? I definitely wasn’t going to do that. So I did the only thing I could do — which is to pull him off an event that would have him fighting just nine weeks after writing his piece so he can have the proper time to see a specialist. Let me remind you that this is an event I already had signed contracts for and spent a lot of money marketing and advertising, so this was a big loss. But it was the right thing to do.
So here we are now. After all of this, Mark is saying that I have it out for him and I am holding a grudge because he filed a lawsuit. Let me ask you this:
Would I have placed him in two additional fights, including one in which he headlined the event?
Or paid him 1.645 million dollars, which includes a $50k Fight of the Night bonus and a $25k discretionary bonus?
All of this was AFTER the lawsuit, so how can anyone say I have any issues with this guy?
Bottom line, my job is to put on the best fights in the world and part of that is to protect these guys from themselves. I get it, they’re fighters and they want to fight. But this only works if safety comes first, and that’s always been my goal — to provide a level playing field and a safe, regulated environment for our fighters to compete in. I’ve been doing that for almost 20 years and I’m not going to stop now.
At this moment, it is unclear when Mark Hunt will return to the octagon, especially when litigation between himself and UFC regarding UFC 200 bout with Brock Lesnar.