Leading MMA journalists say Mark Hunt's move to sue the UFC is a stroke of genius.

Hunt recently signed on to fight Alistair Overeem at UFC 209, a decision many saw as an end to his threat of legal action against the fighting organisation, which he is pursuing after his UFC 200 opponent Brock Lesnar was found guilty of doping offences.

However, after signing a contract for the Overeem fight and then having the UFC market the event, it ensures the MMA promotion would be cast in a bad light should it take the bout away from Hunt as punishment for his actions.

Also, the fact his next fight is against Overeem - a fighter who has been suspended in the past for drug violations - means Hunt's crusade against dopers receives further publicity.


Speaking on MMA Fighting's The MMA Beat, journalist Chuck Mindenhall said Hunt's move ensures he can no longer be ignored by the UFC.

"When he took the fight with Overeem, I thought that was the white flag saying, 'I'm not going to go through with this'," Mindenhall said.

"Then days later, wow, what a masterstroke. He gets his fight booked, I'm presuming he did this on purpose, and then comes out with the suit so it's kind of locked in motion. If you're going to do it, this is the best way to do it.

"You can't just be ignored. I think part of his grievance was the fact that he was ignored.

He has been waiting for people to talk to him about what was going on and give him some answers.

"He's a smarter guy than most people give him credit for."

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani agreed, calling Hunt's move "a stroke of genius".

Hunt was beaten at UFC 200 by former UFC champion Lesnar, who later failed two USADA tests. Lesnar was found to have traces of anti-estrogenic agent Hydroxy-clomiphene in his system and was subsequently fined $US250,000 and suspended for 12 months.

The problem is this information didn't come to light until weeks after Hunt's showdown with Lesnar, where the New Zealand born fighter was beaten via unanimous decision.

Lesnar received a then record $2.5 million for his appearance in the Octagon, with the 10 per cent fine going to the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Hunt's grievance is that he should be compensated financially, having put his life at risk, taking on a fighter who flouted USADA rules.

The argument only grows when you consider Hunt's last three opponents have failed USADA tests - Frank Mir, Antonio Silva and now Lesnar.

The Australian based fighter feels the UFC was aware of Lesnar's doping, given it handed the WWE wrestler a four-month exemption from USADA's drug program, allowing him to take the fight with Hunt at UFC 200 on short notice.

UFC 200 was also the last event held under the Zuffa ownership, before it was sold to WME-IMG for $4 billion. Hunt feels the company withheld information on Lesnar to ensure he contributed to a healthy a box office, making the company look more enticing on the verge of the mega deal.

Journalist Jeff Wagenheim sides with Hunt, saying the fighter could take his legal case a step further by including the very organisation responsible for administering a clean sport.

"One thing that surprised me is that he names the UFC, Dana White and Brock Lesnar, but I was kind of surprised he didn't have USADA in there as well," Wagenheim said.

"USADA tested Brock Lesnar well before that fight and the result was not provided until after the fight. Why do you even bother with pre-fight testing?

"What is the point of testing if you're just going to take money from a fighter? Let them go out juiced to the gills and earn $2.5 million, and then they're going to take 10 per cent of that. It sounds more like a money grab, rather than testing to help with the safety of a fighter."

But there could be a quick resolution to legal proceedings, as Lesnar could agree to a financial settlement with Hunt, ensuring he is not forced to give a deposition in court.

"Perhaps this is really about Brock Lesnar and Hunt going after Lesnar. He (Lesnar) probably doesn't want to go to Vegas for a deposition and might just be willing to settle and pay Mark Hunt some money."

Hunt's predicament also casts light on the sport's rules, which remain contradictory. If a fighter misses weight, their opponent receives a percentage of their purse if they agree to still compete. However if a fighter fights and later fails a drug test, their opponent receives no financial gain.

Wagenheim said the Hunt case could set a new precedent in combat sports as it exposes a glaring flaw in MMA rules relating to fighter safety.

"If you're competing in a fight and someone doesn't make weight, you get part of his purse - if you agree to take the fight. You have the option to say, 'Well he's 14 pounds heavy, I'm not going to fight a guy that big'," Wagenheim said.

"If a guy fails a drug test and the results are not provided you're going in there blind, there's nothing you can do to defend yourself."