The Rally for Hunt is at an end.
Supporters of the former K-1 champion have been campaigning for him to get a title shot against Junior Dos Santos should scheduled title challenger Alistair Overeem be pulled out of their May 26 clash as a result of a failed drug test some weeks ago.
“They can keep rallying. It ain’t going to happen,” UFC president Dana White told Fighters Only at today’s post-event press conference in Stockholm, Sweden. Our reporter had asked whether White was aware of the Twitter phenomenon #rallyforhunt and if he supported it.
“I have apologized and praised Mark Hunt for what he's accomplished in the situation he was in. And I think this [May 26] fight with Struve is a good fight for him. If he beats Struve, he’ll break in and start fighting some of the top five heavyweights in the world,” he said.
“Anything can happen in a fight, but in all reality, it's not fair to Mark Hunt either, to throw the guy right in there with Junior Dos Santos for a title shot. The guy worked his way up - he beats Struve, he fights somebody in the top five.
“I guarantee you this: he beats Struve, his next fight will be someone in the top five that can get him closer to that title shot.”
White’s comments echo what Fighters Only was told by a different source earlier this week. According to the insider, Hunt’s loss to McCorkle fatally undermined his ‘rally’ even before it got off the ground but the rally itself has caught the attention of key players at Zuffa headquarters who did not realise Hunt had so many supporters.
That same source said Hunt is one or two good wins away from finding himself in contention. If he beats Struve he will be given a top five opponent and if he wins that, he will very probably find himself in contention or fighting a contender elimination bout.