Mark Hunt knows the opportunity presented to him Saturday night at UFC 180 is one he can’t let slip away.
Hunt will face Fabricio Werdum in the main event for the interim UFC heavyweight title. The 40-year-old has won five of his last seven, including a September knockout of Roy Nelson.
But, just four years ago, Hunt (10-8-1) appeared on his way out the UFC’s door following a submission loss to Sean McCorkle.
“I’ve been at it for 24 years of fighting,” said Hunt, during an interview on UFC Tonight earlier this week. “This is huge. This is for all the marbles.”
With power in his hands, Hunt has finished the likes of Nelson, Stefan Struve and Cheick Kongo, fighting former contender Antonio Silva to a majority draw. His lone loss since that 2010 defeat came at the hands of Junior dos Santos.
“I’m a striker, that’s my background,” he said. “I can put him out. He’s the submission artist, but this isn’t BJJ. This is mixed martial arts. I don’t care if you have a black belt or red belt, if I can punch you in the face, you’re going to sleep.”
Hunt also re-told the story of what he was doing when his phone went off, with UFC president Dana White on the other end offering him the fight vs. Werdum.
“I was taking the kids to school when I got the call from Dana White. He said there was an opportunity. I said yes before I thought about it – not thinking about tackling the weight, the different time zones, Mexico City being at altitude,” Hunt reflected. “I wouldn’t have been happy with myself if I didn’t take the fight.”
FightLine will have complete coverage of the card on Saturday.