Former K-1 world grand prix champion Mark Hunt (right) saw his career take a major upswing beginning with his KO of Chris Tuchscherer (left) early in 2011. But a leg injury derailed his winning streak last May, forcing him to bide his time — until now. (Getty)
It’s been a tough road back to the octagon for Mark Hunt.
The 2001 K-1 world grand prix champion experienced a miraculous career comeback in early 2011, knocking out Chris Tuchscherer to pick up his first UFC victory. He then followed it up with a unanimous-decision win over Ben Rothwell and a spectacular KO against Cheick Kongo.
Not only was the New Zealand native relevant in MMA again, he was now on the cusp of cracking the UFC’s heavyweight top 10. However, Hunt was mere days away from locking horns with Stefan (Skyscraper) Struve at UFC 146 this past May, when his knee gave out on him.
“I was doing one last drill, resistance bands — you run up, do some combinations, pick someone up and then the bands pull you back,” Hunt said over the phone. “The last one that pulled me back, my leg just curled up. I felt a real sharp pain and my leg curled up.