UFC star Hunt once again to be big in Japan

Last updated 05:00 13/01/2013
Mark Hunt
Getty Images
FIGHTER: Mark Hunter.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

Canterbury Cavaliers take on Southern Dogs in South Island derby to start NHL San Francisco 49er Jarryd Hayne still doesn't feel like he belongs in NFL Black Sticks Pippa Hayward says National Hockey League will be toughest yet Southland rower Jade Uru aims for three Olympics in a row for family Olympic champions on top for Winter Games halfpipe snowboard finals Canterbury's Angie Petty rolled dice but missed payoff in world champs 800m Risk-taker Raymond van Barneveld always in pursuit of The Power Judges compare perfection at Winter Games freestyle events British freestyle skier James Woods wins World Cup slopestyle title at Cardrona Angie Petty misses 800m final despite strong run at IAAF world championships

A nostalgic return to Japan looms for New Zealand UFC star Mark Hunt in his first fight in more than a year, in March.

The former K-1 world champion will take part in a co-main event fight with Dutchman Stefan Struve at UFC on Fuel 8 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan on March 3.

The heavyweight pair were due to clash at UFC 146 in Las Vegas, Nevada on May 25 last year, but Hunt, who holds a 3-1 UFC record since his fight debut in 2010, had to pull out of the fight after badly injuring his right knee in training.

The 38-year-old was an MMA standout in a combat sports-mad Japan in the early 2000s.

As well as being 2001 K-1 world champion, Hunt took part in what is seen as one of the great MMA match-ups when he fought, and lost to, fellow Kiwi Ray Sefo in Fukuoka the same year.

The Sydney-based Hunt, who spent a large amount of time back in Auckland during his convalescence, is unbeaten in the UFC since he lost his first fight to Sean McCorkle in 2010, with his recent defeats of Cheick Kongo and Ben Rothwell featuring stunning knock-outs.

Struve, who has a record of 9-3, will be no pushover, however, with the tallest fighter on the UFC's books (at 2.13m) having not lost an MMA fight since a knockout by Travis Browne at UFC 130 in May 2011.

Hunt has been long rumoured to have the ability to earn a UFC heavyweight title fight - but the MMA veteran would need a comprehensive defeat of Struve to put himself in a position to negotiate with UFC boss Dana White on a scrap with new champion Cain Velasquez.

Hunt's fight will follow that of fellow Kiwi James Te Huna in the UFC, with the Darfield-born little heavyweight matching up against Englishman Ryan Jimmo at UFC on Fuel TV 7 in London on February 16.

Ad Feedback

- Sunday News

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content