Despite being born in New Zealand, UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt has always felt more welcomed as a fighter by fans in neighboring Australia, where he is set to compete once more this coming weekend against Frank Mir at UFC Fight Night 85.
“I started as a K-1 fighter in Australia… the fans were really welcoming to me in Sydney and I’m thankful for that,” Hunt told FO back in 2011 following his KO win over Chris Tuchscherer – his first MMA win since 2006. “I didn’t expect many of them to remember who I was and thought they might have forgotten where I’d started out. Turns out they’ve got good memories.”
It was Hunt’s first time competing in MMA in Australia when he knocked out Tuchscherer at UFC 127. To make the victory even sweeter, it was also his first win in the UFC and earned him the ‘Knockout of the Night’ bonus.
“Competing in Australia felt really comfortable for me and it was great to make a return,” Hunt recalled.
Since turning around a six-fight losing streak with that victory in his adopted homeland, Hunt has trained hard and fought even harder to become one of MMA’s top 10 best heavyweights in the world.
Now coming off a TKO win over Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva last November – another ‘W’ earned in his beloved Australia – Hunt is only interested in bigger and bigger fights; literally.
“I believe I’m here for a purpose and I believe that purpose is to battle these top heavyweights,” he said. “The bigger, the better. I don’t like fighting smaller guys than me or even guys the same size as me. I want to fight King Kong if he’s available.”
Read the full interview with Mark Hunt inside Fighters Only magazine. Get your copy here.