UFC Heavyweight Mark Hunt will no longer be a part of the UFC‘s return to Australia after being pulled from the UFC Fight Night 121 line-up due to medical concerns. A statement from the promotion confirming the news was released in the early hours of this morning.
The reasons for the 43-year-old being pulled out of the contest have been more than justified with comments from Hunt in a recent interview reading “If I die fighting, that’s fine” as he opened up about his inability to sleep and his occasional slurred speech. This prompted the UFC to step in and pull the fan-favourite off of the November card.
The statement first released to news.com.au read as follows:
“Following a recent first-person article published by UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt, UFC has taken the precautionary steps of removing Hunt from a previously announced bout in Sydney, Australia. The health-related statements made by Hunt in the article represent the first time UFC was made aware of these claims.
Athlete health and safety is of the utmost importance to the organization and it would never knowingly schedule an athlete complaining of health issues for a fight. The organization will require that Hunt undergo further testing and evaluations prior to competing in any future UFC bout.”
Despite Hunt having been scheduled to face Marcin Tybura, former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will now take his place. Fresh off a first round stoppage of Walt Harris, the 40-year-old will be looking to stretch his winning streak to two and get back into the championship mix after a UFC 213 loss to Alistair Overeem in the summer derailed the Brazilian’s momentum.
For Tybura, he will be looking to continue his winning streak of three after his previous victory over UFC veteran Andrei Arlovski earlier in the year. This will undoubtedly be the biggest test of the Pol’s career, as despite Arlovski being a recognised name, he is evidently on the decline based on his recent performances.