Te Huna makes the weight for UFC event

Last updated 17:49 27/06/2014
SEAN WILLIS/Stuff.co.nz

Ahead of the first ever UFC tournament held in New Zealand, Kiwi fighter James Te Huna says the reasoning behind his weight change is to reinvent himself.

James Te Huna
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LEAN MACHINE: James Te Huna has shed 6kg in a week for his fight.

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Kiwi UFC star James Te Huna today tipped the scales at 84kg to complete his transition to middleweight but immediately declared he was off home for a traditional Maori feast.

Te Huna (18-7) headlines New Zealand's inaugural 10-fight UFC card against Nate Marquardt (32-13-2) at Auckland's Vector Arena tomorrow night.

After coming off back-to-back defeats in the light-heavyweight division, Te Huna has dropped to middleweight to recapture his explosiveness.

Losing around six kilograms in the past week for today's weigh-in can't have been easy and the 32-year-old was clearly keen to regain some depleted sustenance before tomorrow's career-defining fight. 

"I'm proud to represent my country," Te Huna said. "I've very happy to be headlining the card. It's a very special feeling. I can't wait to get back home and get stuck into that boil up."

Marquardt, a 47-fight veteran of the sport, is stepping up from welterweight following successive defeats.

"I'm used to not being the hometown guy so that's fine," he said.

Fellow Kiwi Daniel Hooker, who makes his debut at featherweight and New Zealand-born welterweight Robert Whitaker also feature in the event.

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