There was a time that Mark Hunt was one of the most feared heavyweights in the world. He is not entirely sure that it would be a smart move got middleweight champ Israel Adesanya to make the jump up to fight the big boys.
Although his tenure with the UFC ended on a sour note, Hunt was at one point an incredibly fearsome opponent. Even if you were able to beat him, which was by no means impossible to do, you still had to deal with his brutally heavy hands. After all, there is a reason that he is noted for making the walk off knockout a popular thing to do.
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Mark Hunt Unsure About Israel Adesanya At Heavyweight
Naturally as someone who has competed at heavyweight for so long, Mark Hunt has a pretty good handle on what it takes to compete at this weight class. He also has a pretty good relationship with middleweight champ Israel Adesanya. The Last Stylebender is expected to fight at light heavyweight next, to likely take on champ Jan Blachowicz, but he has also discussed the possibility of even moving to heavyweight and fighting Stipe Miocic or Jon Jones there. However as Mark explained in a recent interview, while Izzy is skilled enough to hang at heavyweight, he is not entirely sure it is a good idea for Adesanya, at least unless he gets paid more.
“He’s talented enough, he’s tall enough. He’s the same height as (other heavyweights),” Hunt said. “He can move to heavyweight if he feels like it. For me, I just feel like it’s a lost cause because there’s no money in that title right now and there’s no prestige in that title. He might think that $5 million is a lot of money, and it is for what it is, but you’re talking about someone who is the one of the most elite in the world.”
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Introducing Adesanya To Dana White
While Mark Hunt and Dana White are not on good terms right now, they were at one point. In fact, Mark says that he actually tried to let Dana know how skilled Adesanya is a few years ago. He says that at the time, Izzy was still inexperienced in MMA, but he told the UFC bossman to keep an eye out for this skilled technician.
“He’s doing good things in the sport and I think he’s great,” Hunt explained. “I always knew he was going to get there because I talked to Dana about him a long, long time ago, before he got signed. I told Dana ‘There’s this guy, he’s amazing, he’s a great fighter. I’ve seen him do kickboxing,’ even before they were trying to get him. I knew he was world class already because I had seen him when a friend of mine took me to watch some kickboxing in New Zealand.
“Like I said, I did mention to Dana a long time ago about Izzy, and how talented this kid was,” Hunt continued. “His mind for fighting is amazing. He’s done boxing, kickboxing, and I knew he was the new era in fighting.”
It is crazy to think that Mark Hunt saw such potential for Israel Adesanya, even before he was in the UFC. This just speaks to how naturally talented the middleweight champ really is.