Mark Hunt Wants Rematch with Alistair Overeem
Two of the best strikers in the UFC’s heavyweight roster could face-off against each other in February, after New Zealander Mark Hunt revealed he wanted to avenge his loss to Alistair Overeem when he returns from injury.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour (H/T MMA Fighting), Hunt said:
"If they'd like to get me a fight I'd like to get a rematch with Alistair Overeem, you know, when he comes back from his injury or from whatever, his hiatus. You know? I'd like to have my rematch with him. I'd be willing to fight next year so it doesn't matter. If he gets a title shot, that's good on him, so."
Hunt is a former Pride veteran whom the UFC inherited after it bought the Japanese MMA promotion in 2007.
Riding a depressing five-fight losing streak before making his UFC debut, Hunt has since become a fan favourite after winning his last three matches.
Among his losses, included a first round submission at the hands of Alistair Overeem at Dream 5 in 2008.
The loss occurred in the middle of a downward spiral for the “Super Samoan” who went on to concede defeat to the likes of Melvin Mahoef, Gegard Mousasi and Sean McCorcle shortly after.
But he’s since managed to turn around his fortunes in the UFC’s heavyweight division and in April, after Overeem was forced out of his championship match against Junior Dos Santos due to a failed drug test, Hunt was being talked of as a possible contender.
Promotion president Dana White was quick to eschew that idea, but the wave of support Hunt had received during that period was enough to bring him to the attention of UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, who set up a fight between Hunt and rising heavyweight star Stefan Struve.
That could have been his breakout fight which would have set Hunt in line for a top five opponent, but alas, fate conspired against him. In the middle of his training camp preparing for Struve, Hunt suffered a knee injury and he’s been on the sidelines ever since.
Overeem has also been on the sidelines in that period. His suspension for failing a drug test doesn’t end until December and the former number one contender has made it clear that he wants to get back to action as soon as possible.
The Dutchman hopes that that would mean challenging Dos Santos for the belt, but the Brazilian champion is first set to fight Cain Velasquez in December, and The Reem has made it clear he’s not prepared to wait for either fighter to get back to health before he gets back to action.
That has left Overeem, a definite top five heavyweight, looking for an opponent. In the wake of that uncertainty, several heavyweights are eager to step in against the former Strikerforce and Dream champion.
Antonio ‘Big Foot’ Silva has already made it clear that he would love an opportunity against Overeem, and now Hunt has also thrown his hat in the ring.
The timing could be perfect for Hunt as he expects to return to action following a tear in his posterior cruciate ligament in February.
But the fact of the matter is, Hunt is not a top-five fighter, and it's unlikely that Overeem would consider him a worthy opponent.
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