Kiwi UFC fighter Mark Hunt admits he is starting to stutter and slur after brutal 19 year career

For Mark Hunt, 19 years in the fight game is starting to take its toll as the South Auckland born UFC star contemplates the final few chapters of his career.

The 43-year-old is scheduled to face Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night on November 19 in Sydney.

A decisive win could see Hunt vault right back into title contention in a volatile heavyweight division where a two-fight win-streak is as common as a Wallaby victory over the All Blacks.

With just three-fights left on his contract, the 'Super Samoan' is running out of time in his quest to rule the heavyweight MMA world.

The Gold Coast resident thrilled Auckland UFC fans in June, with a knockout win over American Derrick Lewis, and Hunt will be looking to rinse and repeat against the Polish 31-year-old.

Hunt faces Marcin Tybura in November
Hunt faces Marcin Tybura in November Photo credit: Getty

But after years of putting his body through hell and taking hundreds, if not thousands of clean shots to his limbs, head and body, Hunt admits life after fighting could prove to be a struggle.

"Sometimes I don't sleep well. You can hear me starting to stutter and slur my words," he told Australian website PlayersVoice.

"My memory is not that good anymore. I'll forget something I did yesterday but I can remember the sh*t I did years and years ago. That's just the price I've paid - the price of being a fighter."

In recent times Hunt has been a strong voice against drug cheats in a sport he has competed in clean, since his first kickboxing bout in 1999.

A June 2016 loss to former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar was overturned after the American failed two pre-fight drugs tests; Hunt has since been pursuing legal action against the UFC, and Lesnar.

The fight-veteren has questions on more than half his professional MMA losses, having fought 11 fighters in 25-fights who have at least one failed career Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) test.

"I've fought a lot of drug cheats and copped a lot of punishment from guys who were cheating and that's not right.

"If you take away all my fights against juicers, it would probably be half of my fight record gone," Hunt wrote in the PlayersVoice.

"I used to be a little bit naive. I didn't realise this until after the Brock Lesnar fight. I would sign fight contracts on the presumption that my opponent was clean. When they break that contract and cheat, it's like trying to fight a shark in the ocean.

Hunt added, "This is what I'm supposed to be doing and if I die fighting, that's fine. I just hope that if it does happen, it will be in an honest and fair competition."

Times are changing however, with multiple high-profile fighters 'popping' for PED's in the last year alone, notably the now former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and a former foe of Hunt's, Junior dos Santos.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones Photo credit: Getty
Hunt suffered a 2013 loss to Junior dos Santos who has since failed a PED test
Hunt suffered a 2013 loss to Junior dos Santos who has since failed a PED test Photo credit: Getty
Alistair Overeem has failed multiple PED tests in a 18-year career
Alistair Overeem has failed multiple PED tests in a 18-year career Photo credit: Getty

Hunt said the UFC's hiring of Jeff Novitzky as Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance has weeded out doping offenders.

Novitzky, as former head of the Food and Drug Administration, spearheaded investigations against the likes of Marion Jones, Justin Gatlin and Lance Armstrong.

Hunt said the Americans anti-doping regime is a positive step towards a clean sport.

"Doping has been a part of the sport for a long time because there is a lot of money at the top."

"The penalties aren't being enforced and they aren't harsh enough.

"But he's onto it. It might take him a while to catch all these guys but it's just a matter of time. Let's hope no one dies in the meantime."

Hunt's fight with Tybura will serve as the Main Event of UFC Fight Night 121.

Newshub.

 

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