Mark Hunt, also known as the “King of the Walk-Offs”, is a popular mixed martial artist and former kickboxer who participates in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He fought his way up to number 8 in the official UFC heavyweight ranking and was also the winner of the 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix.
Biography of Mark Hunt
Mark Richard Hunt was born on 23 March 1974 in South Auckland, New Zealand. He is of Samoan descent and grew up in a large family where he had a rough and troubled childhood that eventually led to him being sent to prison twice for acts of violence.
One of his fights in front of a nightclub, shortly after he was released from prison for the second time, changed the course of his life. Hunt knocked out several people in the nightly brawl that lasted only a few minutes, and this impressed one of the bouncers, Sam Marsters, who later invited him to his gym to begin formal training. The invitation led Hunt to his later career in the UFC.
Mark Hunt Professional Career
Mark Hunt began his kickboxing career at a Muay Thai kickboxing match a week after he was picked up by Sam Marsters. He won the match by knockout and was rewarded with six-packs of beer.
That year Hunt moved to Sydney, Australia to continue training and a few years later he settled in Liverpool Kickboxing Gym under a coach called Hape Ngaranoa. At first, he was used by promoters as a springboard for their up-and-coming fighters and usually took up fights at short notice.
However, after being promoted to the K-1 Oceania tournament in February 2000, Hunt entered his first K-1 tournament as a heavy underdog. It was a good start for him as he knocked out three of his opponents that year and again in 2001 to win the K-1 Oceania title. His growing reputation earned him an invitation to Japan for K-1 qualification, where he unanimously lost his first international fight against Jérôme Le Banner. In order to restore his international reputation, Hunt decided to have a rematch with Le Banner, which the latter agreed to, as Hunt would win him to advance to the semi-finals of the K-1 final. He became K-1 World Champion of the 2001 Grand Prix by unanimous decision after defeating his Brazilian opponent Francisco Filho, who is a karate master from Kyokushin.
In 2002, Hunt returned to defend his K-1 World Grand Prix and met Le Banner again in one of the biggest K-1 fights in history. However, he lost the fight against the Frenchman by decision in a fight that would be his last K-1 World Grand Prix appearance.
The King of the Walk-Offs began his mixed martial arts career with a fight at Japan’s PRIDE Fighting Championships and had his first MMA fight with Hidehiko Yoshida, an Olympic gold medalist in judo. Although he lost the fight, Hunt won two more fights at PRIDE Shockwave 2005 and PRIDE 31: Unbreakable, where his powerful double punch knocked Japanese boxer Yosuke Nishijima to the ground. His other fights in mixed martial arts include the 2006 PRIDE Open-Weight Grand Prix; Dynamite! 2008; and the Super Hulk Grand Prix.
From kickboxing, mixed martial arts, Ultimate Fighting Championship to professional wrestling, Mark Hunt has had his fair share of numerous victories. He made his UFC debut in 2010 at UFC 119 after being transferred when the Las Vegas-based organization bought out the Japanese Pride Fighting Championships.
During his years in the UFC, Hunt won several fights considered the best in UFC heavyweight history. His first win was at UFC 127 in Sydney on February 27, 2010, followed by UFC 144 on February 26, 2012, and then at the UFC on Fuel TV 8 where he defeated his opponent in a TKO third round. His fight against Brazilian opponent Antônio Silva in UFC Fight Night 33 was considered the best in the history of the heavyweight promotion, with a referee scoring 48-47 for Hunt. He also won his fights in UFC Fight Night 52 (2014); UFC 193 (2015); UFC Fight Night 85 (2016); UFC Fight Night 110 (2017).
In total, he has received three Fight of the Night bonus awards and other prestigious awards such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship: Knockout of the Night (twice); Fight of the Night (three times); and Performance of the Night (twice).
As for the K-1 category, he is a four-time K-1 World Champion in the Grand Prix, a K-1 Champion in the Oceania Grand Prix, a 1999 WKBF Champion in the Australian Super Heavyweight, and several other achievements.
Mark Hunt is quoted as saying he is very proud of his achievements without cheating or taking shortcuts [Doping]. In the meantime, he had announced that he would not apply for an extension of his contract ends in 2 fights according to UFC 221. The “Super Samoan” has published his first book “Born to Fight with Journalist Ben McKelvey”.
Family: Wife and Daughter
Hunt had two daughters, Aurora and Sierra Hunt from his previous marriage. He met his second wife, Julie Margaret Hunt, in a reggae club around 1994, and the couple had four children together. The father of six children can be seen in a YouTube video called When You’re Dating Mark Hunt’s Daughter.
Body Measurements: Height, Weight
Hunt has a massive build that gives him the advantage in the ring. The former construction worker with UFC champion described his body as nothing compared to his strong spirit to retire in honest and fair competitions. He stands on a decent 5 feet 10 inches while his body weight is 265 lbs.