Well, hometown hero Mark Hunt has been removed from the main event of UFC Sydney due to showing symptoms of CTE.
Late on Wednesday night, it was announced that Mark Hunt, a public hero in both Australia and New Zealand, was removed his main event fight opposite Marcin Tybura in Sydney. A decision that was made because the popular heavyweight fighter recently started showing symptoms of CTE, which is caused by copious amounts of brain trauma.
Mark did a really revealing piece last month where he discussed how his body is after years and years of combat. It went viral among the MMA community. During the eye-popping piece, Hunt spoke about his memory loss and how he has started to slur his words, a sure sign of CTE. For those of who don’t know what Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is, it is a is a neurodegenerative disease found in people who have had multiple head injuries, higher in those who took part in combat sports.
“My body is fucked but my mind is still here,” Hunt said. “I’ve still got my senses about me and I know what’s right and wrong, which is the main thing. Sometimes I don’t sleep well. You can hear me starting to stutter and slur my words. My memory is not that good anymore. I’ll forget something I did yesterday but I can remember the shit I did years and years ago. That’s just the price I’ve paid – the price of being a fighter. But I’ve fought a lot of drug cheats and copped a lot of punishment from guys who were cheating and that’s not right.”
The words above send shivers down my spine. I can’t for one second imagine what it is like to start losing my memory or even fathom the slurring of words. The UFC obviously felt the same way, concerned for Hunt, and made the decision to pull him. A very big decision that has infuriated the fan favourite. Hunt immediately took to his Facebook where he unleashed an attack aimed at promotional president Dana White.
That post was followed by a number of follow-ups stating that he had been cleared by doctors and that the slurring of words comment was misquoted and that it was a running joke between himself and his wife.
“I spent hours the other day with the doctors I was cleared to fight,” Hunt posted. “the interview I did with players voice was misquoted I don’t slur my words and is a is a running joke between my wife and me my memory isn’t that great but who remembers shit they dont want to not good.“I’m disappointed that I have been withdrawn from the fight, I have passed all medicals 2 days ago. And spent 100,000 on camp. The truth is the legal case I have filed has caused me to be withdrawn. The interview has been taken out of context and want to reassure all my fans, I slur my words only when I have a drink I’m fit and healthy, and would have understood if the UFC requested a medical to ensure my safety, however this is total bullshit fuck you Dana, you’ve always hated me you dog.”