Exclusive: Mark Hunt Reveals He’s Returning To Combat Sports To Fund UFC Lawsuits, Talks Francis Ngannou Changing MMA Landscape

Mark Hunt is preparing for a potential bare-knuckle fight with BKFC to raise money for future lawsuits against the UFC.

Mark Hunt
Mark Hunt (left), Dana White (middle), and Francis Ngannou (right)(Images via Instagram @TheRealMarkHunt @DanaWhite @FrancisNgannou)

Mark Hunt is returning to combat sports to help fund more lawsuits against Dana White, Lorenzo Ferttita, and the UFC. 

Between 2010 and 2018, Hunt fought under the UFC banner eighteen times, leading to an 8-8-1 (one no-contest) promotional record. Since parting ways with the UFC, the heavyweight knockout artist has sued the UFC multiple times for various reasons, including alleged malpractice in association with his 2016 fight against Brock Lesnar. 

Hunt has lost multiple lawsuits against the UFC, but he remains hopeful due to an antitrust lawsuit expected to go to trial in 2024. The 49-year-old combat sports legend recently did an exclusive interview with MiddleEasy to discuss several topics, including his legal battles with the worldwide leader in MMA. 

When asked about his ongoing lawsuits with the UFC, Hunt had this to say:

“All I can say is my former lawyers were paid off. They tried to ruin my case, they sealed all of the evidence, and like I said, I can’t keep going into it. I have to just wait until the way things turn out. Know that these Dana White, Lorenzo Ferttita, these criminals have tried everything to ruin me, my brand, everything.”

Over the past few months, Hunt has teased a return to combat sports, leading to rumors of him potentially fighting Mike Tyson in a boxing match. During the interview with MiddleEasy, the 49-year-old was asked why he wanted to fight again, and he candidly responded by saying:

“The truth is I have to pay for a lawsuit. If it goes to a lawsuit, I pay for that, I don’t have the finance for. That’s the only reason that I’m fighting at my age. Regardless of what people think about it, that is the truth. I have to fight in case this goes to a trial, and I’m not letting these guys [the UFC] get away with it. I want to put these fools in jail, and I want to close their company up. That is the reason I have to compete at my age.”

Mark Hunt talks about Francis Ngannou and other UFC champions being underpaid

In 2023, Francis Ngannou made history by parting ways with the UFC and nearly defeating Tyson Fury in a boxing match. Ngannou’s financial success since leaving the promotion has changed the MMA landscape, as several fighters have pursued opportunities outside of the Octagon and succeeded. 

During the previously mentioned interview with MiddleEasy, Mark Hunt was asked about Ngannou and UFC fighter pay, leading to the following response: 

“Imagine having some of these fighters having to borrow money or look for other ways to find it even when [the UFC] takes away their sponsorships. Like I said, the belt isn’t worth, these guys shouldn’t be proud of their belt…Why isn’t the funds going towards the fighters? Why did the world heavyweight champion like [Francis] Ngannou have to put that belt on the rubbish and walk and say, ‘Man, I can’t take this.’”

Hunt continued: 

“[Ngannou’s] getting $600,000 back in the day when he started, and my last fight I got $950,000 He’s the champion of the world and yet I get more than him. $600,000 a fight is ridiculous for the best fighter in the world. Now you see him getting 20 or 30 million, it’s deserving…The only guy that’s ever made money from the UFC as a fighter properly is Conor [McGregor].”

Mark Hunt last fought in November 2022, defeating previously undefeated Sonny Bill Williams in an eight-round boxing match. Although a fight against Mike Tyson isn’t impossible, Hunt is more focused on signing with BKFC to make money in bare-knuckle boxing within the next twelve months.

Watch Mark Hunt’s interview with MiddleEasy below:

Published on February 2, 2024 at 7:53 pm
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