When Mark Hunt was told to be prepared to compete at UFC 200, the heavyweight slugger needed no further persuading -- even without an opponent in place. The announcement that it would be Brock Lesnar had no effect on his intentions.
“When I was asked a few weeks ago to stay ready for July, I was very pumped man. I had no idea it would be Brock, but like everything it doesn’t matter who I fight they are going to get it good and proper when I step inside the cage,” Hunt said in an interview on MarkHunt.TV.
After flirting with a comeback early in 2015, Lesnar will return more than four years removed from his last Octagon appearance, a first-round knockout loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141. At least for now, his UFC 200 showdown with Hunt will be a one-off opportunity to compete in MMA before he returns to the sports entertainment realm for an appearance at WWE’s “SummerSlam” in August.
However brief Lesnar’s second Octagon foray may be, Hunt plans on making it as unpleasant as possible.
“I’ll knock his face off. I knock his mouth off and then his lips fly off,” Hunt said.
While the latter portion of Lesnar’s UFC tenure was hindered by a life-threatening battle with the intestinal disease diverticulitis, he also displayed an aversion to being hit, which was especially apparent in bouts against Overeem and Cain Velasquez.
With nine of his 12 career victories by knockout or technical knockout -- including a few memorable “walk-off” finishes -- Hunt would seem to be a difficult matchup for Lesnar’s first fight since December 2011. However, Lesnar described it as a “haunting feeling” when he walked away from the sport following that bout.
“I’m taking the leap and I’m gonna get back so that, 20 years from now, I can say, ‘I did it,’” Lesnar said during an interview on “SportsCenter.”
Still, Hunt doesn’t see MMA as something one does only occasionally, and he seemed offended by the notion that Lesnar wanted to prove himself by competing after again after such a long absence.
“I ain’t no part time fighter. He thinks this is a game where he can come back and forth,” Hunt said. “I will send this pretender back so he can play house with the other part timers. This realm is for the real fighters, not these damn pretenders.
“Don’t confuse wrestling with real fighting. I’m going to give it to him.”