Mark Hunt might just be ageless.
When he exited the Octagon last night, Hunt walked away with a win at UFC Auckland, stopping the ascent of a potential title contender in Derrick Lewis. Not only did he win, but Hunt finished his opponent in a late round at the ripe age of 43.
While a lot of people his age deal with back pain, knee aches and reminisce about how much better their bodies felt in their 20s, Hunt is fighting the heaviest punchers on the planet and it doesn’t seem like he intends on slowing down any time soon.
If he’s not punch drunk, why stop? That’s how Hunt put it.
“I’m not slurring my speech and I’m still alive, so you can’t kill me yet, man. The old dog is still going, man,” Hunt said during the post-fight press conference.
Through two decades, Hunt has fought some of the best fighters in the world, all over the world. That span of time has included fights with physically imposing combatants, some of whom have been labeled cheaters, both by gossip and official testing.
It’s gotten to the point where Hunt has filed a lawsuit against the UFC, and the litigation process is moving along while the fighter competes in the organization.
Along with the legal and in-cage battles, Hunt also finds himself calling fighters out for steroid use. Alistair Overeem, for example, is someone Hunt has faced twice in the past, but the losses are questionable to him because he regularly accuses the fighter of doping. It doesn’t sit quite right for Hunt, and he made it clear post-fight.
“He’s always going to be a cheating bum,” Hunt said of Overeem. “That’s what he’s always going to be. To me, regardless whether he beat me, he’s always going to have that cloud over his head. All his achievements, you don’t know whether they were done by steroids or not.
“Sorry, Alistair, you’re a cheat.”
Hunt lost to Overeem years ago in Pride, submitting to a keylock in 2008. The two met again earlier this year at UFC 209 in a match that saw Overeem win with one of his classic knee strikes.
Despite the loss, Hunt didn’t appear convinced that Overeem was clean. USADA has been regularly testing fighters, but this hasn’t cleaned up the sport as much as Hunt would like, especially since his loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 was turned to a no-contest because Lesnar popped positive.
Hunt might not ever get to avenge his outing with Lesnar due to the latter fighter’s WWE commitments, but he’s more than willing to dance again with Overeem. In addition to naming Junior dos Santos, Hunt said would like a fight with the Dutch fighter he calls “a cheat” one more time.
In most instances, a fighter would be up against the clock being 43 years old and asking for rematch. For Hunt, this isn’t the case and as long as he keeps staying in there with the scariest guys on the planet.
Age will remain as nothing but a number, and other fighters will own the retirement headlines.
“I’m doing what I’m doing,” he said. “I’m still beating the top-end guys. I said if I can’t [keep] beating these guys, then I would retire — if these guys are too good for me.”
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