Sydney based heavyweight Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt will become only the second ever Australian based fighter to fight for a UFC title, after it was announced that he will face Fabricio Werdum at UFC 180 for the UFC interim heavyweight title.
He steps up to replace current UFC champion Cain Velasquez who was forced to withdraw due to a right-knee injury.
Time will be against the 40-year-old, with event scheduled just over three weeks away on November 15 at the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City.
The main-card will be broadcast live in Australia on Mainevent PPV.
Hunt reportedly received the news earlier Tuesday morning while taking his kids to school. The first big test begins straight away with Hunt now set to lose just under 20 kilograms to make weight for the contest with Hunt along with his team set to fly out to Mexico City tomorrow.
“I feel blessed to have this opportunity to fight for another world title. This is something that doesn’t happen often to people. First K1 and now UFC – how can I say no, even though it’s on short notice? I’m dropping everything and flying to Mexico tomorrow so I can best prepare myself for this fight. I have to get into shape and acclimatise to that environment, which is really important.”
“There’s nothing to lose when you’re competing against the best at the top level,” Hunt added in the official press-release.
Mark Hunt remarkably came into the UFC on the back of five consecutive defeats and by default, after the UFC purchased Pride Fighting Championships where Hunt was contracted. Instead of taking the UFC’s offer to buy-out his contract, Hunt chose to test himself in the UFC instead.
Things didn’t look good after he lost his first contest back in 2010, but since then the heavy-hitter has racked up a 5-1-1 run in the promotion. His most recently became only the second ever person to stop Roy Nelson back in September.
Should Hunt win the bout, he will became the first Australasian fighter to win a UFC title, albeit an interim title. The only other Australian who has had an opportunity to fight for a UFC title was Elvis Sinosic who lost to Tito Ortiz at UFC 32 for the light-heavyweight title.
His opponent Fabricio Werdum is also having a dream run in his second stint in the UFC, having won four straight fights which included an armbar submission against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and most recently a decision win over highly ranked Travis Browne. The 37-year-old Brazilian who holds a black-belt in BJJ and Judo, will bring a 18-5-1 MMA record into the bout.
- Fabricio Werdum vs Mark Hunt
- Jake Ellenberger vs Kelvin Gastelum
- Ricardo Lamos vs Dennis Bermudez
- Diego Sanchez vs Joe Lauzon
- Edgar Garcia vs Hector Urbina
- Jessica Eye vs Leslie Smith
- Augusto Montano vs Chris Heatherly
- The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America Featherweight Final
- The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America Bantamweight Final