After penning article on his health, Hunt taken off of UFC Fight Night 121 card

October 11, 2017

The UFC has pulled Mark Hunt from his main event match against Marcin Tybura in Australia for UFC Fight Night 121 this November citing medical concerns.  The concerns were made known after Hunt penned an article entitled, “If I die fighting, that’s fine.”

Fabricio Werdun will get the quick turnaround and fill-in for Hunt against Tybura.

The UFC pulled Hunt based on the article, in Player’s Voice (an offshoot of the U.S. version of The Player’s Tribune) as it stated that Hunt suffered from short-term memory loss and acknowledges that he is slurring his words.  In the article, he advocates for the expansion of the Ali Act to MMA and advises his children to do something aside from MMA.  In the article, he cites the “drug cheats” he faced in the sport including Brock Lesnar.

The UFC issued a statement to an Australian news outlet explaining its decision (via MMA Junkie):

“Following a recent first-person article published by UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt, UFC has taken the precautionary steps of removing Hunt from a previously announced bout in Sydney, Australia,” a statement first issued to read. “The health-related statements made by Hunt in the article represent the first time UFC was made aware of these claims. Athlete health and safety is of the utmost importance to the organization and it would never knowingly schedule an athlete complaining of health issues for a fight. The organization will require that Hunt undergo further testing and evaluations prior to competing in any future UFC bout.”

Hunt is not pleased with this outcome and took to Instagram to blast Dana White and threated to sue.  The case is currently pending.

As we know, Hunt has sued the UFC, Dana White and Brock Lesnar.

Payout Perspective:

This is a sticky situation for the UFC as Hunt publicly notes that he is fine with dying in the ring and lists some serious physical injuries which may likely be long-term health issues.  This could lead to potential liability especially if the UFC allows Hunt to continue the fight despite his statements that he is suffering from short-term memory loss from what he believes is related to fighting.  Also, the UFC is engaged in a lawsuit with Hunt and now Hunt is claiming that he may sue for taking him off the card.  Frankly, the UFC may be in a situation where it may feel like it will have to sever ties with Hunt because it cannot allow him to continue to fight.  Perhaps the UFC and Hunt come together to have a physician examine him to determine whether he can continue to fight.  But, I would suggest that the UFC takes a conservative approach to allow him to fight (maybe a Daniel Bryan-WWE situation if you follow that).  This will be an interesting issue to keep track of moving forward.

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