Mark Hunt was offered $450k to walk from UFC

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

Dana White has revealed he offered Mark Hunt A$400,000 ($450,000) to quit the UFC, saying: "We thought that was enough money to make him go away".

With Hunt preparing to headline UFC Brisbane against Frank Mir this Sunday, White has opened up to Round 6 about that conversation, six years ago, when he tried to punt the hulking Sydney heavyweight.

The UFC president says he phoned Hunt, whose contract had been acquired during the Pride takeover, and offered him a retirement payout of US$300,000 - an incredible figure considering the slugger was on a losing streak stretching four years and five fights.
Worse, Hunt was guaranteed only six grand per fight if he stayed.

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"So we thought 300 grand was enough to make him go away," White laughs.

"But you all know what happened, Mark refused.

"He told me something like 'no way, f ... that shit. I love fighting, it's who I am'.

"And it's worked out ... Mark Hunt's made a lot more money than we offered him."

Indeed, in his eleven UFC fights, Hunt has amassed US$325,000 in fight bonuses alone.
It's also estimated the hulking brawler, gunning for one last run at the heavyweight title, now earns $160,000 per fight.

Still, a dollar has never been harder earned. Nor has Hunt received anywhere near top dollar for a large chunk of his UFC career.

Understandably, the man himself has always been coy when it comes to earnings.

And with eight of his appearances having come outside America, where fight commissions aren't required to provide salaries, any chance of tallying his net worth is impossible.

It has been suggested, however, that the 41-year-old received only US$6000 per appearance for his first two fights after shunning White's offer.

Official records show that figure jumped to US$160,000 three years ago, when he battled Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 in Las Vegas.

"Mark Hunt is one of the greatest stories in sports," White continues. "You've got to love the guy. No one has ever left one of his fights and said 'oh, I never wanna see him go around again'."

White says he has no concerns about Hunt fighting deeper into his 40s.

"I'm one of the rare guys in combat sports who does say 'hey, retire, I think you've had enough," White says. "And I actually catch a lot of shit from the fans for that, people get pissed at me.

"But I don't want to make one dollar of that kind of money, all right. I want competitors, not guys getting hurt.

"And Mark Hunt, he has fight left in him. What concerns me are the (older) guys getting knocked out repeatedly. But Mark Hunt isn't that guy."

- news.com.au

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