It has been over three months since Mark Hunt suffered a unanimous decision loss to former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 200.
However, the heavyweight star has decided to hire a legal counsel for a potential lawsuit against the UFC, mainly because of all the opponents Hunt has faced in the UFC, three of them have failed drug tests. That doesn't sit right with the fighter.
Hunt, when speaking to MMA Mania, talked about how he finally arrived at the decision to potentially sue the Ultimate Fighting Championships.
"It's the third time I've had to fight a steroid user," Hunt said. "I don't think the penalties are harsh enough. I don't think it is a fair environment. I've probably fought more juicers than anybody. The difference is now is that I realized I can actually lose an eye or something and not be able to compete again. I know fighting is kind of hard and all, but when these losers are taking steroids it makes it even worse. I think it should be strict on all of them--the charges for an athlete," the 17-year veteran said. "Any other sport is pretty harsh on steroids, but the difference in those sports is they aren't trying to hurt someone like you are in mixed martial arts. They are affecting time or other people, but with MMA you are hurting others."
However, Hunt is being a patient, because according to advice he received from his attorney, Christina Denning, they are waiting to see how the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) punishes Lesnar for his two failed drug tests.
"One of the things about a lawsuit or a potential lawsuit is that we've got to let Brock Lesnar go through and exhaust his ability to challenge the findings of USADA," Denning explained. "And Brock Lesnar's hearing was originally scheduled for sometime in October, but it got put off until November 10. I've been trying to figure out if I need to make plans to go out there because we've requested permission to participate in that hearing before the Nevada Athletic Commission. Brock Lesnar retaned an attourney (Howard Jacobs) who handles these things and I found out today in calling that attorney, who is representing Brock Lesnar, that he has already requested another continuance, which would push this out into mid December. It has not been granted yet. We are just trying to stay on top of that. We've requested an extension beyond the two minutes we are allowed to speak because it is a public forum and I would like to go and represent Mark's interest in front of the NAC. And that leads me to the kind of conundrum that we are in with respect to this whole process."
Hunt is not just looking for some righteous justice either, he believes that he is entitled to some financial compensation for fighting a potentially juiced up Lesnar at UFC 200.
"We've got the UFC's own anti-doping policy, which also gives the UFC the ability to take away Lesnar's purse, and it's broad enough to include any money that he makes from the result of these fights," Denning explained. "So, theoretically, the UFC upon the finding of a violation could take all of the money back from Brock. Not only the 2.5 million dollar purse, but anything he earned from pay-per-view, if he had a win bonus--all of that--and then put it into it's anti-doping program. Or better yet--and what we'd like to see happen--is the person that had to get in the ring with him gets allocated that money. If such a policy was implemented it would definitely deter some UFC fighters--maybe not all--from actually doping in the first place because instead of a slap in the wrist or a suspension because they were planning a sabbatical anyway, it would cause them to forfeit the money that they've earned. So, we have an interesting dynamic between the UFC, it's anti-doping regulation and how that reconciles with the Nevada State Athletic Commission jurisdiction over what happens with the person's money. My understanding is that any fines that are imposed for violations haven't been that great anyways. But conceptually, those two entities have the ability to take the money and do with it what the statute allows them to do with it on the one hand, and then the policy allows it to do on the other hand. He's [Lesnar] probably sitting there laughing about all the money he's making. He's still a fake, a fraud and a cheat. That's all he will be known for. The problem is he ruins history. He ruins history for all the people's history, for mine and everyone out there that competes clean. They need to have some penalties to take away their financial gain. That will stop them for sure,” said Hunt.
Dennings, who is one of the members of the legal team representing Hunt, also believes that any punishment handed to Lesnar will not really affect him at all, because Lesnar is already back wrestling for the WWE.
"We've got the UFC granting an exemption from the four-month drug testing requirements in order for Lesnar to participate in UFC 200," she began. "UFC 200 happened in July, I believe, and he didn't sign on with UFC until June, a month before. However, Brock and the UFC had been in discussions for several months beforehand about Brock Lesnar's possible participation in the UFC and everybody understood that he was planning on coming into the UFC. That causes you to wonder, well, why didn't he sign on early and get into the program. Well, I can't say with certainty and I don't want to throw out allegations that are unsupported, but one could suspect that the UFC and Brock Lesnar both knew that they were going to have a problem with these random drug tests and so they waited and sat on this announcement so he could get clean. And then he gets into the program and has a couple of results where he passes and then he starts taking whatever substance it is--and I'm not an expert on it--but he starts taking this substance knowing that this is a one-time stop in the UFC and he is now going back to the WWE, where he is part-time and not subject to any discipline there and it's like this guy is invincible.
"What's concerning is the UFC"s decision to grant him this exemption when the anti-doping policy … there is specific and this is where the law comes in and you argue over vague terms, but it says there has got to be extraordinary circumstances for granting that exemption," Denning continued. "I don't know, I"m not an insider like you, but there are reports out there that I haven't substantiated, that this is the only time the UFC has granted such an exemption. Then you have to factor in the fact that UFC 200 came around the time of the 4.2 billion dollar sale of the UFC was getting ready to close and they've already lost some money because of the doping violations. So, here comes Mark, who is already willing to fight anyone and let's put him in against Brock, who is all juiced up. So, what a potential lawsuit would address is the actual occurrence here, but also a pattern of the UFC saying 'okay, well we've got an anti-doping policy.' And sure they turn it over to USADA, a third-party agency to regulate it, but they have no control over when these people get tested. There is a pattern of these fighters coming up positive and the UFC not doing what it should be doing about it after the fact to actually deter this from happening in the future."
"You can say the UFC is trying to do everything they can to try and catch drug users, but then why would they give him a four-month exemption?" asked Hunt. "I think they actually knew. They actually knew the pro wrestler was on the juice. All those losers are juicing. It's all fake. It's not a natural competition. They can do whatever they want to look good for the audience because it's all scripted. How do I know this? I did pro wrestling in Japan myself. I've taken a lot of fights on short notice, but this one they gave him a four-month exemption. They had the sale on. I've had enough of it and I shouldn't have to suffer, neither should my family, because these guys are taking the juice. And lose out on money that I should be making because this dickhead is coming around here with his steroids. And why is it that they are not making penalties even more harsher for these guys because it's a violent sport about hurting people."
"If you miss weight you lose 20 percent," Hunt said. "With drugs nothing really happens. You get a two-year ban or some rubbish. That doesn't mean nothing for a broken eye or something. I got my hand broken in a few places and I was out for a whole year and he [Antonio Silva] actually came back and fought before I did. Do you know how annoying that is? It's really annoying."
Hunt has already been offered two fights since UFC 200, a rematch with former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos and against Josh Barnett. However, the fighter turned down both opportunities because the UFC would not meet his demands for either bout, which were altered provisions in related to drug tests. Hunt stands by the statement he made ages ago that he “will fight anyone,” but if he does fight in the UFC again, he wants an even playing field with his potential opponents.
"I've had enough," Hunt said. "It's time to make things even. I'm not salty because I lost the fight [to Lesnar]. I'm never salty about a loss, but when someone is cheating, that's where I get a bit upset. I'd like to see things change. I'd like for them to put rules in so if you are caught cheating all your money goes to the other guy. There shouldn't be any sort of leniency for these drug cheats because they knowingly take these steroids to hurt people. There should be a clause that says, 'If you are caught using steroids you will be banned for life and you will also have all your money [fight purse] taken.' They should not be given any sort of excuses or try to get away. Listen, you are talking about people's lives here. You are talking about people fighting and actually going and hurting someone. If I was juicing and went and killed someone knowing that I was juicing, what would happen to me? I would get a two-year ban. That's fine. I can still fight again. But what about that guy's family and his kids? What do they get? They get nothing. The main provider for their family is dead because the other guy was cheating and using steroids. You look at it that way. I said it before, does someone have to die before things change in this company? I'm just trying to make things change for the better. I understand it's a violent sport and you can die anyway, but being turbocharged and supercharged on your body doesn't help the cause. That's all I want done. I want them to change these laws changed. I want them to take all their money and ban them for life. Any guy that is taking steroids should not be able to compete in any sport."
Hunt, despite his willingness to fight anybody on a level playing field, believes that the whole process right now has ruined his love for mixed martial arts.
"To be honest, they are taking away my love for fighting. What I love to do is fighting. They are taking it away by giving me all these freaking cheaters. It's not their fault, but it might've been their fault because they might've known. I want my release from my contract if things don't change. I don't even want to fight anymore. These cheaters have ruined everything,” Hunt said.
Lesnar is expected to take part in a hearing from the NSAC by the end of the year, Hunt’s legal team will be awaiting the results of that hearing before any further moves are made.
Check out the full, must-read interview over at MMA Mania.