Former UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt hung up the gloves after a final win over Sonny Bill Williams.
Hunt, the winner of the 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix, made his way to the UFC in Sep. 2010 after scoring wins over Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Filipovic. He had top-level experience, having competed with the likes of Alistair Overeem, Gegard Mousasi, Melvin Manhoef, and Fedor Emelianenko, widely regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time.
Earlier today, the MMA fan favorite, who entered the bout as a big underdog, took on the unbeaten Williams in a boxing fight. Hunt had reportedly lost over 66 pounds (30 kg) in preparations for the match. It would mark his second walk to the boxing ring after dropping his debut to Paul Gallen in Dec. 2020.
Hunt came out firing and scored a knockdown of Williams with a massive right hand. Williams managed to recover temporarily before succumbing to a flurry of punches from the 48-year-old in round fourth. Hunt handed Williams the first loss of his professional career.
“Sonny Bill is down,” commentator Andy Raymond said on Stan Sport.
“He’s hurt. Against the odds, Sonny Bill Williams has been dropped.
“His eyes are not clear… Mark Hunt, in his final fight, stops the legend that is Sonny Bill Williams. What a fight.” (transcribed by WWOS 9)
Hunt Announced His Retirement From Fighting
Following the grand win, he announced his decision to walk away from combat sports competition on a high note.
“I’m smiling not because of the win, but I’m smiling because this is the last time I walked into a ring of combat of any sorts,” said Hunt via Daily Mail. “My first thought after was ‘s*** I want to do that again!’, but no [I won’t be back in the ring again].”
His opponent Williams was full of praise in defeat and expressed appreciation for competing against Hunt.
“I would like to say it was an honor to share the ring with Mark Hunt tonight, the Super Samoan. I tried my best but it wasn’t good enough. Not too much positives to take from that, but to share the ring with a legend like Mark, it was special.
“Also to see a lot of Polynesian brothers get a chance on the card was special. Whatever happens, happens.”
Hunt Lost His Passion for MMA After Getting Into a Lawsuit With UFC
In Jul. 2016, ’The Super Samoan’ got into a feud with the company and president Dana White for matching him up with former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, who tested positive for an illegal substance and had his win overturned to a no-contest for UFC 200. After dropping his final three outings in a row, Hunt moved on from the UFC.
He filed a lawsuit against the UFC in 2017, claiming the promotion knew of Lesnar’s use of a banned substance prior to the showdown. Lesnar eventually tested positive for the banned substance clomiphene during a pre-fight drug test. His suit got dismissed in 2019, and he got ordered to pay the UFC $388,235 in attorney fees and costs.
Hunt talked about the toll the litigation process had on him and theorized he got blackballed from the industry after his dispute with UFC.
“I’m done fighting,” Hunt said via Bloody Elbow. “I think I lost a passion a long time ago when I filed this lawsuit against the UFC. They took the passion away from me, to be honest. The only fight I had since I left the UFC was a boxing match. I couldn’t get another match anywhere. I didn’t think any company would pick me up because of this lawsuit, to be honest.”
“Why wouldn’t you hire someone as good as me? I mean, such a good-looking guy, such a great fighter. Why wouldn’t you hire someone like me? I think I got blacklisted, to be honest. I couldn’t get a match anywhere,” said Hunt.