Mark Hunt, now 44, has no plans to hang up his gloves and in fact intends to prove he still ranks among the best heavyweights in the sport when he steps inside the Octagon opposite Alexey Oleynik in the UFC Fight Night 136 headliner on Saturday at Olimpiysky Arena in Moscow.
Ahead of Hunt’s confrontation with “The Boa Constrictor,” here are five things you might not know about him:
1. He could soon join a list of accomplished fighters who are vegan.
Hunt decided to go vegan after watching a documentary about animal cruelty at one of the largest pig farms in the United States. He made the declaration three years ago and posted the video on Facebook with the caption, “I’m going vegan, hate this.” However, it has not been a complete transition yet, as he plans to be “fully” vegan after his combat sports career concludes. Why? Hunt believes an abrupt change could prove detrimental to his health, especially as a martial artist. Known fighters who are vegans include Mac Danzig, Jake Shields, Matt Wiman, Nick Diaz and Nate Diaz.
2. He is a successful author.
Hunt details his life from the time he was a troubled teen until he became one of the most beloved mixed martial artists in history in a bestselling autobiography entitled “Born to Fight” -- an inspiring read for anyone who feels they are stuck in despair. “Born to Fight” was given a perfect five-star rating on Amazon. Hunt co-wrote it with journalist Ben Mckelvey.
3. He once slammed a fan’s tattoo of him.
While he appreciated the gesture, Hunt expressed his dismay over a perceived shoddy caricature of a tattoo sent to him by a fan; and he jokingly took it to Instagram: “Listen kids, I love the thought and it’s flattering but please check with your parents and make sure the tattoo artist is good because fukmeded whoever did this tattoo needs a hiding for putting this on someone’s skin.” Many commenters came to the fan’s rescue, however, and showed appreciation for the ink.
4. He dyes his hair because of a Japanese anime.
Hunt watched a lot of “Dragon Ball Z” when he was living in Japan. He was initially nicknamed the “Samoan Monster” but it shifted to “Super Samoan” in reference to the show. When the lead character in “Dragon Ball Z” reaches his maximum power, he turns into a “Super Saiyan” and his hair changes from black to blonde. Hunt has made it a pre-fight ritual to dye his hair before a fight as a tribute to his favorite anime.
5. He has two nicknames.
Fans know Hunt by the moniker “Super Samoan” but he also goes by “The Doctor.” No word on whether he has an M.D. or a PhD, but one thing is certain: A single punch from Hunt can send anyone to a real doctor.