UFC Veteran Mark Hunt Discusses Slurred Speech, Memory Loss

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2017

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JUNE 11:  Mark Hunt of New Zealand prepares to enter the Octagon before facing Derrick Lewis in their heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at the Spark Arena on June 11, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Mark Hunt is almost 20 years deep into his combat sports career and, unfortunately, it's starting to catch up with him. The Super Samoan discussed his physical and mental situation in a piece for PlayersVoice (Warning: NSFW language), giving a glimpse into the life of a veteran fighter.

"My body is f--ked but my mind is still here," he said. "I’ve still got my senses about me and I know what’s right and wrong, which is the main thing...You can hear me starting to stutter and slur my words. My memory is not that good anymore. I’ll forget something I did yesterday but I can remember the s--t I did years and years ago. That’s just the price I’ve paid—the price of being a fighter."

While Hunt didn't debut in the UFC until 2010, his pro career dates all the way back to 1998 when he began boxing in Australia. He eventually made the jump to kickboxing and became a popular star in Japan's K-1 promotion. In 2004, he transitioned into mixed martial arts with Pride FC and, in time, began competing under the UFC umbrella, where he established himself as one of the sport's most beloved fighters.

Part of the reason for his popularity has been his absurd toughness, demonstrating an inhuman ability to absorb punishment and then deal it back. But while he has always been capable of shaking off punches in the cage, the damage is accumulating out of the cage.

Despite that, Hunt says he isn't quite done yet, and his sights are still set on the top.

"Whenever I start something, I try to finish it. I’ve got three fights left. I want to win that world title," he said. "It’s a dream of mine to be a mixed martial arts world champion. I’ve been the best fighter in the world at kickboxing—they can’t take that away from mebut when I started in MMA I realized how great this sport is. It’s the ultimate combat sport and that’s why I want to be the world’s best at it."

For better or worse, Hunt has a date set for his next fight. On November 19, he will face Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night 121 in Sydney, Australia.