By Daniel Richardson

Mark Hunt is about to make a walk that has been more than 20 years in the making.

His music will hit, the crowd will roar and Spark Arena will experience an atmosphere it hasn't seen in a while as the Super Samoan heads to the octagon.

New Zealand's most famous MMA fighter has spent the past two decades relying on his hands and feet to put food on the table.

Advertisement

He's had high-profile kickboxing bouts in his homeland but none of his 25 professional MMA fights have been in New Zealand.

His first organised kickboxing bout, which came a week after he was spotted in a street fight outside a bar, provided him with a six-pack of beer as his purse - today he will net hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The 43-year-old Hunt will meet American Derrick Lewis (18-4, 1 NC) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 110 and it's easy to see how this fight is a big deal for Hunt.

His dangerous hands have taken him all over the world - Japan, the United States and Mexico - so it seems fitting that as his career winds down he gets the opportunity to fight where it all began.

Hunt wasn't in a reflective mood this week but he did say it would be nice to have his brother and sister in the crowd who had never watched him compete in the flesh before.

There will also be two young Kiwis on the card who have probably looked up to Hunt on their own MMA journey.

Auckland lightweight Dan Hooker (13-7) will meet Ross Pearson (19-13, 1 NC) and Hamilton welterweight Luke Jumeau (11-3) will make his UFC debut against American Dominique Steele (14-8).

They will help set the table before Hunt provides the main course.

"There's no pressure on me," Hunt said. "Mark Hunt is going to go out there and throw down. It doesn't matter where it is. All I worry about is whether I put on a good performance."

His life has taken him from two stints in prison to being a million-dollar prizefighter and the end of his career is in sight.

He has four fights left on his UFC contract and it's hard to see him going on much further but that speculation is for another time.

His immediate concern is Lewis, the man known as The Black Beast, who is on a six-fight winning streak. But those numbers don't impress Hunt.

"I'm far more skilled than he is," Hunt said.

Hunt's a more accurate striker than Lewis who has a wild, brawling style but it has proven effective.

Lewis called for Hunt as his next opponent after the American knocked out Travis Browne (18-6-1) in February.

"I respect Derrick," Hunt said. "I've got nothing bad to say about him. He's a man that's taken his life from a bad place to a good place like myself."

Hunt is referring to the jail stint that Lewis did in the mid-2000s and MMA has also proven a lifesaver for Lewis following his release.

Now these two reborn behemoths will put on a show at Spark Arena.

"I just can't wait to walk out there and see how hard he hits," Hunt said.