Boxing: Heavy-hitting Kiwi Mark Hunt unloads on UFC 'grubs'

Kiwi combat sports legend Mark Hunt is pulling no punches against his former UFC employers, as he prepares for his upcoming return to the ring.

Hunt's long-rumored clash with rugby league great Paul Gallen has been announced as part of the 'Sydney Super Fight' event at Bankwest Stadium on December 16.

Hunt, 46, looks forward to fighting again, after a long and unresolved legal dispute with UFC officials.

"I've just come from a company that's sh*t, and they took away my passion and love for fighting, and I'm glad I've got it back now for this event," Hunt tells Newshub. "I'm glad Paul's the man to bring me back for it to end my career."

Hunt lost his initial lawsuit with the UFC, when he alleged president Dana White allowed Brock Lesnar to fight Hunt at UFC 200, while using performance-enhancing drugs.

Hunt’s legal team then reportedly brought an appeal forward to the dismissed case, which accused them of racketeering, fraud and battery, among other offences.

"I got cheated out of a career-ending [bout] with a company that were just grubs and chose money over other people's lives," Hunt says.

"That made me really salty and angry fighting for those guys, and you can tell by my fighting - that's why I took them to court.

"I felt like I was pushing a wheelbarrow full of sh*t up a f**king mountain. You go there and find there's other guys cheating, but not only that, the company helps them.

"I feel a lot happier that I can end my career with a fight with Paul and five more fights." 

'Super Samoan' hasn't fought since December 2018, when he lost to Justin Willis at a UFC Fight Night in Adelaide.

Hunt amassed a 30-13 record as a kickboxer, winning the coveted K1 World Grand Prix in 2001, before transitioning to mixed martial arts, where he fought firstly with Pride and then UFC, after it bought the Japanese promotion.

He boasts a 29-13 MMA record, including a shot at the UFC interim heavyweight championship against Fabricio Werdum in 2014.

But with just two professional boxing bouts to his name - the last was in 2000 - Hunt jokes that Gallen (9-0) actually has the experience edge.

Either way, he insists there'll be no bad blood between the two, who claim to be good friends. The pair even took a moment during the interview to snap a selfie together.

"We've had lunch a couple of times," says Hunt. "He's come to one of my fights and I've gone to one of his.

"I've got no ill will against Paul. This is just business, as they say."

Gallen says the feeling is mutual, with the former Australia and New South Wales captain admitting he feels privileged to take on someone he considers a "legend".

"It's going to be an honour for me," Gallen tells Newshub.

"I'm an athlete, I love competing and Mark is a big scalp for what he's done for a long, long time as a former world champion, a UFC legend, a combat sports legend.

"We know each other and we've got great respect for each other."