What it feels like to get punched in the face by Mark Hunt. Picture: Getty Images
What it feels like to get punched in the face by Mark Hunt. Picture: Getty Images

‘He won’t last one round’: Hunt

"HE won't last one round".

That's the frightening prediction from Mark Hunt, who promises to KO American Curtis Blaydes at UFC 221 in Perth.

"I'm knocking his lips off and I don't think he's going to make it out of the first round," Hunt declared.

"Who knows? It might make the second round, but he's getting knocked out. All these guys are getting knocked out. (Then) I'm knocking all these cheaters out one at a time."

'Super Samoan' Hunt (13-11-1,1NC) meets 'Razor' Blaydes (8-1-0,1NC) in the co-main event at Perth Arena on February 11.

It will be Hunt's first bout in 245 days, having been cut from the UFC Sydney card on November 19 last year following concerns he had brain damage.

It stemmed from the 43-year-olds's Player's Voice interview, in which he was slurring his words.

"There's nothing wrong with me," Hunt stressed.

"A few sentences were taken out of context and there's nothing wrong with me at all. It's all been sorted out and it's fine now. I'm moved on and I'm good."

Blaydes, who hails from Chicago, Illinois, is searching for a third-straight win after accounting for Russian Aleksei Oleinik at UFC 217 via TKO in Round 2 and Poland's Daniel Omielanczuk by unanimous decision at UFC 213.

Hunt bids for back-to-back victories, having secured a Fight of the Night bonus with his Round 4 knockout of Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night Auckland on June 10 last year

 

Mark Hunt will take on Curtis Blaydes in Perth. Picture: Getty Images
Mark Hunt will take on Curtis Blaydes in Perth. Picture: Getty Images

 

The New Zealander lucked out with his request to fight No. 3 ranked heavyweight Fabricio Werdum in Perth, instead matched up with No. 9 ranked Blaydes.

"I wanted someone higher, but it wasn't my choice," the Sydney-based slugger said.

"I'll just have to wait for the next one to get someone higher. I wanted that fight (against Werdum) but he didn't want to do it.

"At the end of the day, I missed out on the Sydney card and that sucks but fighting in Perth is going to be great. I'm going to be part of history and it's all good. I'm looking forward to it."

Hunt insists he won't look passed 26-year-old Blaydes, a renowned wrestler who won the NJCAA heavyweight national champion back in 2012.

"He's No. 9 for a reason and he's made his way up," Hunt said of Blaydes.

"But I don't know much about him at all. My coaches have done a lot of work on him, he's a wrestler ... a clean wrestler and not a cheater."

Curtis Blaydes’ wrestling poses a big problem for Hunt. Picture: Getty Images/AFP
Curtis Blaydes’ wrestling poses a big problem for Hunt. Picture: Getty Images/AFP

 

Hunt has notoriously struggled against high-calibre wrestlers, pounded out by current champion Stipe Miocic at UFC Fight Night Adelaide in May 2015 and more recently hammered by WWE mega star Brock Lesnar in three-round fight.

Asked why wrestlers tend to get the better of him, Hunt replied: "Well, most of them were on steroids".

"The cheaters beat me and they were lucky to beat me. You try to fight normally and you can't do it."

Hunt's strategy in overcoming the ground game of Blaydes is simple, too.

"Punch him in the face," Hunt chuckled.

"That's it, you know. The way to stop a wrestler or a jiu jitsu guy ... punch them in the face, kick them in the head."


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