At the UFC Sweden post-fight presser on Saturday, UFC President Dana White wasn’t prepared to discuss Alistair Overeem’s upcoming date with the NSAC due to his high testosterone reading from the surprise drug test taken at the UFC 146 press conference, but was more than happy to put to bed talk of Australian-based fighter Mark Hunt taking the championship contention spot against Junior Dos Santos if required.
“They can keep rallying, it ain’t going to happen” Dana mentions of the 10,000 strong fan base getting behind the ‘Super Samoan’ flooding twitter timelines with the request to #rallyforhunt. Dana then announces that if Hunt gets past Struve, then he will have to fight at least one of the top five guys in the division before getting the shot; “You don’t just jump right into the title shot”.
Hunt is riding on his win over Cheick Kongo at UFC 144 in Japan, and has been the cause of many crazy requests to Dana, including requesting to fight on the following week’s UFC on fx event held in Sydney, in which the president also denied.
For Hunt, he certainly has had an up-and-down rollercoaster ride of an MMA career, with an overall record of 8-7 and is currently sitting 3-1 in the UFC. His only recent loss was from a nasty arm bar from ex-UFC fighter Sean “Big Sexy” McCorkle at UFC 119 in September 2010.
Fans of Hunt could certainly point out that previous Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar was only 1-1 in the promotion before he was granted his title shot against Randy Couture back in 2008. That said, the division was completely different to what we are seeing now, there are at least 4-5 guys who are genuine title threats.
With most of these contenders tied up in fights at the same event, it leads to a very precarious position for the promotion. To pull out Frank Mir for the title shot will then require someone to fill the space left against Cain Velasquez, and may require a switcheroo of the entire division. There has even been talk about Dan Henderson accepting the title fight, if offered.
Unfortunately for Hunt fans, their dream may be over in the short term; for the rest of us, we will have to keep speculating until April 24th and the NSAC hearing.