Mark Hunt wants a quick turnaround for his next fight . | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
Mark Hunt went approximately 10 months between his scintillating majority draw with Antonio Silva and his one-punch knockout of the durable Roy Nelson at UFC Fight Night in Japan on Saturday.
The 40-year-old Kiwi would prefer that his next layoff be considerably shorter.
“I feel pretty good -- no injuries -- and hopefully I can get on the Sydney card in four weeks,” Hunt said at the post-fight press conference following the event at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. “Dana White? Joe Silva?”
Hunt’s sense of time is a little off -- UFC Fight Night "Rockhold vs. Bisping" is about seven weeks away, but his point was made nonetheless. “The Super Samoan” wants to fight close to home, and the Nov. 8 card at the Allphones Arena in Sydney fits that bill.
With much of the heavyweight division’s Top 10 booked for the rest of 2014, Hunt might have to make some concessions for his wish to come true. That could mean taking a fight against an opponent outside the top 10. While he wasn’t thrilled with the idea, Hunt seemed willing if the tradeoff was a chance to compete Down Under.
“I want to move forward; I want to move up into the rankings. I want to get a title shot. My purpose is to fight for a title,” he said. ”Fighting someone outside the top 10, win or lose, it makes me go backwards. Of course, I’ll consider fighting someone else outside the top 10 if it was in Sydney.”
The 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix winner became just the second person to knock out Nelson, putting an end to their heavyweight headliner 3:00 into the second frame. Hunt was able to catch Nelson ducking, and he responded with a short right uppercut that sent “Big Country” tumbling face-first to the canvas. Nelson’s only other knockout defeat came against Andrei Arlovski at EliteXC “Heat” in 2008.
Perhaps out of respect for his opponent’s power, Nelson uncharacteristically shot for takedowns in both the first and second rounds. That didn’t faze Hunt, who proceeded with his tried-and-true strategy.
“My plan was only just to go and put Roy Nelson out; that’s the only game plan I have for most of the fights I have,” Hunt said. “He was shooting for takedowns; it happens. But I was ready for everything.”