Mark Hunt empathizes with UFC stars who don't speak up about fighter pay. However, the retired heavyweight believes that at some point, the athletes need to say enough is enough.
Appearing as a guest on the latest episode of Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, Hunt urged UFC stars to "do something about" issues such as fighter pay. 'The Super Samoan' said:
"They say don't bite the hand that feeds you but you got to have enough of that? You're gonna take what's given to you like a slave? Are you gonna sit there and say, 'I'll take that, I'll take this.'? No! I won't! I won't sit at the back of the bus, I'm going to do something about it."
Hunt has been at odds with the UFC since he filed a lawsuit against the company in 2017. The suit claimed the UFC knew Brock Lesnar was using a banned substance and still allowed him to take on the Kiwi at UFC 200.
Lesnar defeated Hunt via unanimous decision that night. However, the result was later overturned to a no-contest after USADA found that the former heavyweight champion had tested positive for the banned substance clomiphene during a pre-fight drug test. The WWE superstar's post-fight samples also tested positive for that same substance.
Check out Mark Hunt's interview below:
Mark Hunt says he supports Jake Paul's campaign on fighter pay
No other combat sports personality has been more vocal about the UFC's pay structure than Jake Paul. 'The Problem Child' recently engaged in a public back-and-forth with UFC president Dana White about fighter pay.
Speaking about the issue, Mark Hunt has claimed he's fully behind the YouTuber's campaign to increase fighter pay in the UFC. According to the 47-year-old:
"With Jake Paul, I support the things he said like, I don't know where he got his information from, especially not being in the company, but a lot that I support. A lot of that is true... I support him 100 percent because at the end of the day, I came through that. I understand what it's like there."
Since ESPN became the exclusive home for UFC pay-per-views in April 2018, there have been three hikes in rates. The cost started at $59.99, then became $64.99 at the start of 2020, $69.99 in 2021 and now $74.99 this year.
Jake Paul, MMA journalist Ariel Helwani and others have suggested that if the pay-per-view price is being increased, there must be a hike in fighter payouts as well.