This week, former UFC two-division Randy Couture rallied behind reigning heavyweight king Mark Hunt. Not only did “The Natural” speak out against the UFC’s practices, he also issued a warning to “The Predator” based on his own experience dealing with the company’s top brass.
“(The UFC will) drag Francis into court and try to bleed him of the money that he has accrued to his fighting. And at some point, you have to make a decision on what you want to do,” Couture told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour.
Another heavyweight legend showed his support for Ngannou. MMA veteran Mark Hunt recently spoke to Submission Radio and took aim at the UFC for Ngannou’s reported salary.
“If I was Francis, yeah, stop living on your knees, man. Stop being one of those guys that says, yeah, yeah, okay. I mean, I could have been one of those guys, I could have gotten a couple million. I could have had five or six more million from a couple more contracts for this company,” Hunt said.
“But I had enough. I’m sick of them doing this to me all the time. Whether I won the fight or not, they just kept putting these guys back in the circle and saying ah, let’s give him a fight and put him back in.”
“With Ngannou, of course, he should sit out, of course, he should look at his other options. To be the man in MMA and getting paid $500 - $600,000 is a fricking joke. I just explained to you, I got paid $950k six years ago (for the Justin Willis fight), and I never had the belt. So, that right there goes to show you how much these guys are getting exploited.”
But just recently, “The Super Samoan” was ordered by the US District Court in Nevada to pay $388,000 in attorney fees to the UFC. This urged Hunt to challenge company president Dana White and his former co-owners the Fertitta brothers to a fight.
The 47-year-old Hunt (13-14-1, 1 NC) last set foot inside the UFC cage in 2018 against Justin Willis and lost via decision. His last fight happened in 2020 inside the squared ring against former rugby player turned boxer Paul Gallen. Hunt also lost on the scorecards in the six-round bout.