UFC: Hunt to prep for Mir in Gold Coast

By Daniel Richardson

Mark Hunt. Photo / Getty Images.
Mark Hunt. Photo / Getty Images.

Mark Hunt had rematches on his mind before he agreed to fight Frank Mir at UFC Fight Night 84 in Brisbane in March.

Hunt proudly claims to have never lost a rematch - in the streets or a sanctioned bout - and big-name heavyweights Junior dos Santos (17-4) and Alistair Overeem (40-14, 1 NC) were on Hunt's radar.

The Super Samoan was knocked out by dos Santos at UFC 160 in 2013, while Overeem forced Hunt to submit in the first round of their bout in the now-defunct Dream promotion in Japan in 2008.

Coincidentally, dos Santos and Overeem met in the octagon in December and Overeem registered a second-round TKO against the big Brazilian.

"I did want someone like JDS in a rematch; or Alistair in a rematch," Hunt told the Herald.
That loss could mean more time out of action for dos Santos, while Overeem is busy negotiating a new UFC contract.

So with the booking against Mir now confirmed, Hunt (11-10-1) has his goals set.
"I'm looking forward to fighting a lot of the top-end guys. I'm just going to start with Frank Mir and then try and have a busy year this year."

Mir (18-10) is a former two-time UFC heavyweight champion and has been on the promotion's roster since 2001.

The Las Vegas veteran is a submission specialist with eight wins coming via sub in the UFC, while he has also shown improved striking in his recent bouts.

But few can strike better than Hunt and the 41-year-old welcomed the prospect of a stand-up match on March 20, although he doubted that would happen.

"I think they'll do what Stipe [Miocic] did and try and take me down but we've got some plans for him as well."

Hunt will complete his training camp for the bout on the Gold Coast rather than his previous stops of Thailand and Auckland to be closer to his family who are domiciled in Sydney.

Mir and Hunt both sit inside the top 10 of the UFC's media-generated rankings and given the thin nature of the heavyweight division, you're only one or two big wins away from title contention.

A raft of the UFC's top heavyweights are in action to start 2016, including a title fight between champion Fabricio Werdum (20-5-1) and former titleholder Cain Velasquez (13-2) at UFC 196 in Las Vegas next month.

Hunt, who was beaten by Werdum during an interim title bout in late 2014, picked Velasquez to regain his belt on February 7.

"I'm leaning towards Velasquez with that one. I think Cain might take this one."

Meanwhile, Sydney-based Kiwi James Te Huna (16-8) will make his long-awaited return to the octagon at UFC Fight Night 84 in Brisbane.

Te Huna hasn't been sighted since he lost to Nate Marquardt (34-15-2) via submission in the main event of UFC Fight Night 43 in Auckland in June, 2014.

The 34-year-old Te Huna will meet Canadian Steve Bosse (10-2) in Brisbane in a bid to get his career on track after a lengthy spell on the sideline due to injuries, namely a shoulder problem.

Bosse, a former hockey enforcer, is a heavy hitter but Te Huna should start as the favourite given his UFC experience.

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