By Jai Bednall of news.com.au

New Zealand UFC veteran Mark Hunt has taken aim at one of his closest rivals.

The Kiwi fighter has called out second-ranked Fabricio Werdum, a man he once dropped twice after being called up at the last minute for a heavyweight championship bout at UFC 180, before losing via second round TKO.

Hunt was denied a full preparation for that fight and with Werdum coming off his own defeat against Overeem, it appeared to make sense to pair them again after Hunt defeated American heavyweight Derrick Lewis.

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In August, Hunt called out the Brazilian on Facebook writing: "I want Fabricio Werdum, everyone message Fabricio and tell him I want to dance."

But when the UFC revealed the headline bout for an event in Sydney in November it was 10th-ranked Polish fighter Marcin Tybura announced as Hunt's foe.

If Werdum wasn't ready to fight after his three-round battle with Overeem than Hunt had no complaints, but he was stunned on Friday when the former champ was slotted in on the card for UFC 216 in Las Vegas in October.

What made it worse was the opportunity to take on Werdum was handed to Lewis - the man Hunt finished.

Never shy to voice his opinions on social media, Hunt exploded. "Thought u wasn't ready to fight," Hunt wrote. "You're a true chicken s*** Werdum f***** bum. There's two things I hate in fighters, cheaters and filthy dog cowards."

Lewis is clearly ready to fight again after later revealing his retirement announcement in Auckland was in the heat of the moment and premature.

It's the ninth bout confirmed for UFC 216, which also includes Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee fighting for the interim lightweight championship, which is available due to Conor McGregor turning to boxing against Floyd Mayweather.