Dana White: Pulling Mark Hunt from UFC Sydney Was to Protect Him from Himself

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistOctober 12, 2017

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 07:  UFC President Dana White speaks to the media after the UFC 216 event inside TMobile Arena on October 7, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

UFC President Dana White told TMZ Sports on Thursday the company decided to remove Mark Hunt from its event in Sydney next month as a medical precaution. 

"Sometimes, you gotta protect these guys from themselves and that's what we're looking into right now," White said. 

The decision to pull Hunt from his scheduled bout with Marcin Tybura and replace him on the card with Fabricio Werdum came after the 43-year-old penned a piece for PlayersVoice titled "If I Die Fighting, That's Fine" that detailed his medical woes. 

"My body is f--ked but my mind is still here," Hunt wrote. "I've still got my senses about me and I know what’s right and wrong, which is the main thing.

"Sometimes I don't sleep well. 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 paidthe price of being a fighter."

Citing medical concerns, UFC announced Tuesday that Hunt had been removed from the card in Sydney, according to ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto

Hunt responded with a profane Instagram post (warning: NSFW language) in which he referred to White as a "peice of s--t motherf--ker" and a "bald headed prick." 

In January, the New Zealand native filed a civil lawsuit against White, UFC and Brock Lesnar after Lesnar failed drug tests following a unanimous-decision victory over Hunt at UFC 200. The result has since been overturned to a no-contest.