The name has been all over mixed martial arts (MMA) forums and websites over the past few weeks thanks in large part to his fans and supporters rallying for the "Super Samoan" to fill the vacant spot that will (possibly) be left by Alistair Overeem against Junior dos Santos at UFC 146 on May 26, 2012, due to his testing positive for elevated testosterone levels.
The rally for Mark Hunt hashtag on Twitter has taken on a life of its own and has been supported by fellow fighters on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster, color commentator Joe Rogan, and fans and MMA media worldwide.
Hunt made an unsuccessful UFC debut in 2010 against Sean McCorkle, upping his losing streak to six straight. In all fairness, prior to losing to "Big Sexy," Hunt's previous five losses didn't exactly come at the hands of mediocre fighters. If anything, it was murderer's row of elite fighters which includes Josh Barnett, Alistair Overeem, Melvin Manhoef, Gegard Mousasi and one Fedor Emelianenko, who was arguably in the prime of his career at the time.
Now, the heavy-handed striker has reeled of three consecutive victories against Chris Tuchscherer, Ben Rothwell and most recently, a knockout victory over dangerous striker, Cheick Kongo at UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan on Feb. 26, 2012.
So what does Hunt himself have to say about his new-found twitter fame and support to be the one to receive a possible heavyweight title fight against Junior dos Santos at UFC 146 on Memorial Day Weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Check out what he told "The MMA Hour" today, (April 9, 2012), after the jump.
"I have no idea. I think maybe, they want to see a feel good story of the year. I think people like to see an underdog. I mean, I wasn't event wanted in the UFC and here we are talking about getting a title shot. I think people like the feel good story. No one's told me nothing. I'm always last to find out. I'm still looking to fight Struve, but if I get a title shot then that is better for me and that will be thanks to the 'Army of Doom.' It's not up to me but the chances are good. I think the 'Army of Doom' has been bombing Dana Whites twitter. But whatever happens, it is what it is. But I won't be disappointed and Struve is a tough opponent and I will be moving on and when it is my time to get a title shot, I will. You can say whatever you want, but the UFC, at the end of the day they are going to do what they want, it's their call."
On how he matches up against "Cigano:"
"I match up good against anyone so I do match up against him. It's good to be underestimated and be the underdog, it's great, it gives me more drive and more fire. When someone tells you can't beat anyone or are not good enough, I get motivated."
When the topic of Alistair Overeem and PED's in MMA in particular came up, a normally quiet and reserved Hunt, seemed to get a little heated:
"Drugs in all sports is a big problem. It's a cutthroat business, people take this shit just to get by. I don't use that shit, but when Alistair takes that shit or whoever takes it they just screw themselves out. Like when Barnett screwed himself out of the fight with Fedor. But who am I too judge anybody. I don't take that shit and no one else should. If they do, that's on them, Alistair got caught,that's his problem and now he's dealing with it and everything that Alistair has done is meaningless now. At the end of the day he just got caught cheating, so what's the deal? I lost to him, so did he use that shit when I was fighting him? That's on him, he has to live with that shit not me. It's not my position to judge him, he has to look himself in the mirror. At the end of the day, I don't give a crap who's taking what. The steroids are not going to help them when I hit them. Take as much as you like, I don't care."
So now that the former K-1 Grand Prix champion has seemingly found his groove, does he deserve to step up and potentially challenge for the UFC's heavyweight title against Dos Santos?
Of course, the fate of "The Reem" and who will possibly be his replacement will be clearer as the Dutch striker is scheduled to appear before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on April 24, 2012.
In the meantime, Maniacs, sound off on the "Super Samoan's" case for a title shot and stance against drugs in MMA, in the comments section below.