UFC fighter Mark Hunt has been withdrawn from next month’s UFC Fight Night in Sydney after confessing to slurring his words in a recent article.
Brazilian Fabricio Werdum has been drafted in as a replacement for the main event and will now fight Poland’s Marcin Tybura at Qudos Bank Arena on November 19.
The decision comes after UFC officials reviewed a recent article published in Players Voice and decided to withdraw local favourite Hunt from the fight for tests.
— UFC Aus/New Zealand (@UFC_AUSNZ) October 10, 2017
In the article, Hunt wrote: “My body is f … ed but my mind is still here. 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.
A UFC official said on Wednesday: “Following a recent first-person article published by heavyweight Mark Hunt, the UFC has taken the precautionary steps of removing Hunt from a previously announced bout in Sydney, Australia.
“The health-related statements made by Hunt in the article represent the first time UFC was made aware of these claims.
“Athlete health and safety is of the utmost importance to the organisation and it would never knowingly schedule an athlete complaining of health issues for a fight. The organisation will require that Hunt undergo further testing and evaluations prior to competing in any future UFC bout.”
Hunt has already fought twice this year, the first in March ended in a loss to Alistair Overeem before he beat Derrick Lewis in June.
Werdum’s most recent fight was just last week, when he submitted Walt Harris with an armbar after just 65 seconds at UFC 216.
Alabama native Harris was a late replacement for original opponent Derrick Harris.