Mark Hunt was recently removed from his UFC Sydney headlining bout with Marcin Tybura because of health concerns, and he’s not happy about it.
Saying that he is healthy and medically fit to fight, Hunt claims Dana White and the UFC are trying to push him out for being a whistleblower and lobbying for tougher sanctions on performance-enhancing drug abusers.
UFC officials stated that Hunt was removed from his fight with Tybura and replaced by Fabricio Werdum because of concerns about his health following comments he made in an article that appeared on Player’s Voice.
“Sometimes I don’t sleep well. You can hear me starting to stutter and slur my words,” he was quoted as saying. “My memory is not that good anymore. I’ll forget something I did yesterday, but I can remember the (expletive) I did years and years ago. That’s just the price I’ve paid – the price of being a fighter. But I’ve fought a lot of drug cheats and copped a lot of punishment from guys who were cheating and that’s not right.”
After being removed from the fight, Hunt took to his Instagram account, blasting White and the UFC. He has since returned to Player’s Voice to publish a new article, “A Message to Dana White.” In the article, Hunt explains that he has cleared medical checks.
“I have passed two health checks leading up to UFC Sydney, and one of those was with a neurosurgeon,” Hunt wrote. “They can test me again if they like. It’ll be the same result. I’m completely with it. My brain is fine. Let me get on with my career.”
Hunt claims the real reason behind the UFC removing him from the Tybura bout was because he is a whistleblower. Hunt has long complained loudly about how the promotion treats anti-doping policy violators with kid gloves and has even filed a lawsuit over the matter.
Because of that, he believes White and the UFC are trying to push him out, despite having three fights left on his current contract.
“Dana White obviously has it in for me and he’s looking for anything he can – no matter how small or (expletive) or trivial – as an excuse to push me out of the UFC,” Hunt said.
“I’ve been vocal about the UFC’s bad record on performance-enhancing drugs and how it has impacted my career – the titles I should’ve won and the money it’s cost me. It’s a real concern and many other fighters feel the same way.”
That, Hunt says, is the UFC’s real motivation behind benching him. If the promotion or White was concerned about his health, he claims they haven’t taken the necessary steps to show it.
Hunt says no one from the UFC has even questioned him directly about the original article that started this firestorm.
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“They turned on the whistleblower,” he said. “If the UFC were really worried about my health, why haven’t they ever talked to me about my PlayersVoice article? Why haven’t they spoken to anyone at PlayersVoice about the way the column was written and the context?
“None of us – not me, not the PlayersVoice guys – have heard a peep from anyone at the UFC,” he continued.
“There is nothing wrong with my health.”
UFC officials had not responded to a request for comment on the situation by the time of publication.
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