Mark Hunt was one of the best heavyweight fighters in his generation. The former PRIDE, K-1, and UFC star has one of the most respectable careers in the history of the sport. While he never rose to become a World Champion in the UFC, his place in MMA lore is secure.
However, his relationship with the UFC ended quite poorly. He sued the company for making him fight Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, even though he was found to be doping. Understandably, he carries rage against the promotion and let it be known that their championships are worthless.
“There’s no prestige in that title, in the UFC title. There’s no money in that title. And that’s not just me telling you, you can see from the evidence that everyone’s doing,”
He then said, “Why would you want to be a UFC fighter? Why would you want to be the heavyweight champion of the UFC? Why would you want to be the champion of these things when they’re just f—king paying them 16%? It’s garbage. It’s honestly garbage.
He ended on quite a strong note saying this, “When people say to me about the UFC product, I just sit there I cringe and I laugh. I just go, wow, you’re the world champion of wanting to ask for more money.”
At this point, Hunt is spot on. Many fighters have spoken about the biggest benefit of being a champion in the UFC is getting a slice of the PPV buys.
Otherwise, all the base contract fighters get paid pennies compared to their actual value. Considering all the drama around fighter pay from this year, Hunt’s comments shouldn’t be a surprise.
However, the financial value of the belt doesn’t hurt its prestige. Even if Conor McGregor is making $100 million for a fight. As long as the best fighters in the world hold championships, the prestige of the title remains intact.
Even though Hunt feels this way, he cannot argue that the best in the UFC ultimately rise to the championship level. Considering fighters set that out as their primary goal in the sport, it is just silly to say their championships don’t have prestige.
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