UFC Quick Quote: Dana White respects Mark Hunt and is proud he fought instead of taking buyout

Photo by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting

"When we bought Pride, he came as part of the Pride deal. It was back and forth and basically I was just like...we'll just pay you off. We know you're in the Pride deal. And Mark Hunt said 'No, I want to come. I want to fight.' Let me tell you what, man, he did it. The guy's got a ton of heart and I have a lot of respect for him. I'm glad that he opted to come here and fight and I'm proud that he fought in the UFC. I asked him to come here tonight. If he won't say it, I will."

-- When the UFC bought Pride way back in 2007, a condition of the purchase was that Mark Hunt come over to the world's largest fight promotion. UFC President Dana White, perhaps seeing a fighter he wasn't sure what to do with who had a dismal record, offered to simply buy out his contract. Go home and get paid. Who could pass up that deal? "The Super Samoan," that's who. The former K-1 champ told White that he would earn that money by competing inside the Octagon. And while he lost his debut in short order to Sean McCorkle, he followed that up with a "Knockout of the Night" winning one-hitter quitter of Chris Tuchscherer and last night's (Sept. 24) gritty decision victory over Ben Rothwell at UFC 135 in Denver. His record is still just 7-7 and no, he's not going to challenge for any major title. But, if nothing else, he's earned the respect of his boss for the way he handled himself. Can't ask for much more, right?

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