Back Home, Hunt Wants to Impress

By Philip Ferraro

While he’s never looked overjoyed after a loss, Mark Hunt seemed especially frustrated following his submission defeat to Sean McCorkle last September.

That’s understandable when you consider the work he put in to get down to 265 pounds (after having the luxury of hovering near 300 pounds while fighting in Japan), his excitement for another shot at the big time, and his completion of a hard training camp with American Top Team away from his home in Australia.

So when he succumbed to his sixth submission loss – a straight armbar from McCorkle’s guard at 1:03 seconds into the first round at UFC 119, it was the submission that broke the camel’s back.

“It just pisses me off because it’s like how the hell did I lose like that?” said Hunt. “Rubbish! I’m a lot better than that! Way better than that! How could I lose to something like that? It’s just frustrating for me”

To add to his frustration is the knowledge that regardless of whether the outcome of the fight would have been different, he wasn’t fighting at his best. While Hunt doesn’t want to excuse away the loss, and no pre-fight circumstance is ever perfect, his stay in MMA limbo (no MMA fights in 2007, two in 2008 and one in 2009) was far from ideal. That’s plenty of time outside of the cage or ring, plenty of time without the rigors of a training camp, plenty of time for skills to corrode.

“I know I’m a lot better than that, way better than that; it could have been how long I haven’t fought in the ring or the cage,” said Hunt, 36. “If you don’t fight as often you’re not as sharp. I mean, no excuse, I lost, but it happens if you don’t fight a lot. I wasn’t nervous from the atmosphere – to me it’s just another crowd – but if you haven’t fought for a while, that’s what happens; you’re not as clued up to everything that goes on.”

 

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