At UFC 119 on September 25, 2010, the UFC’s newly acquired big-man, Sean McCorkle, will make both his organization and heavyweight debuts in front of a hometown crowd at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Although McCorkle is well-known on the internet by “hard-core” fans of the sport for his involvement with the mixed martial arts website www.mixedmartialarts.com , and despite holding a perfect record that consists of nine wins with no loses, the “6’7” reformed superheavyweight has flown under the radar of most “casual” fans of the sport. Until now.
In his UFC debut, the undefeated McCorkle will look to take out former Pride FC superstar Mark Hunt .
Recently, McCorkle took time out of his busy training schedule to answer a few questions about his future opponent Hunt, where McCorkle believes he sits in the UFC’s crowded heavyweight division and how he thinks he would fair against current heavyweight title-holder Brock Lesnar.
You’ve spent the last five years competing as a super-heavyweight in smaller organizations against fighters with less-than-perfect records; did you ever think that you would have the opportunity to compete against a mixed martial artist legend like Mark Hunt?
I thought I'd eventually get to compete with some of the best fighters in the world, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon, or for it to be in the UFC. My goal was to fight in Japan so that I could avoid having to cut to 265 lbs. I say "so soon" because I only began training to fight again about eight months ago after taking two and a half years off.
Hunt has dropped his last five bouts and hasn’t competed in nearly a year and a half, naturally a lot of mixed martial arts fans are curious in regards to what to expect from the 36 year-old heavyweight Hunt. What are you expecting from Hunt when you step into the Octagon at UFC 119?
I'm preparing for him to be at his best, but hoping for him to be at his worst. I think at very least he'll be in good shape if for no other reason than he'll have to make 265 for the first time in a long time. I think an in shape Mark Hunt is a dangerous opponent for anyone. And an in shape 36 year-old Hunt, would be better than a 25 year-old out of shape Hunt, so I don't think age will play a factor.
Although Hunt’s career has been on “free-fall” for a few years now, there is no doubt that a guy with over 30 professional kick-boxing victories and wins over Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Wanderlai Silva poses serious problems to nearly anyone he faces. Have you made any adjustments to your game in preparations for the former Pride FC heavyweight contender?
He definitely poses problems for me, and I’m training specifically for a fight with him. I've always believed that you train specifically for what you're going to be attempting to accomplish. I wouldn't lift weights if I was getting ready for a foot race, and I wouldn't be running five miles a day preparing for a power-lifting contest. I know what I have to do to beat Mark, and he knows what he has to do to beat me. The fun part is seeing who's able to impose their will and game plan during the fight.
With a win against Hunt, where do you see yourself in the UFC’s heavyweight division?
I think a win against Hunt gives me some credibility in the UFC’s heavyweight division, and maybe justifies my legendary status on the internet. But it's not like it exactly lines me up for a title shot. If I were able to win my first three or four fights in the UFC, then I think at 12 or 13-0, I would be considered a contender. People were laughing at Roy Nelson when he came on to The Ultimate Fighter, and now he's one win away from a title shot.
It seems the biggest problem posed by some of the sport’s biggest heavyweights like Brock Lesnar is their overwhelming size and power, do you think you could give the current UFC champion a run for his money?
As far as size and power, I can give anyone in the world a run for their money. But the thing that separates Brock from a lot big strong guys besides his wrestling, is his level of conditioning for a guy that big and that strong. You take a guy that big and that strong who's already a great wrestler, and who's able to fight at 100 percent for the entire fight, it's a nightmare for anybody. And although he's a genetic freak, Brock works harder at it than 99 percent of the guys in the sport, which is why he's in such great shape. Cardio is the most important thing in fighting.
Look for the undefeated heavyweight McCorkle to make an impact against Hunt at UFC 119 and in future bouts inside the Octagon.