Mark Hunt's Cinderella run came to an end when he met Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 earlier this year, falling victim to "Cigano's' striking attack which was topped off by a beautiful -- and unexpected -- spinning heel kick that put "Super Samoan" out for the count in round three (watch it here).
The loss snapped Hunt's four-fight win streak and propelled Junior to his much-desired rematch against Cain Velasquez. A title fight that would have likely gone to Hunt had he managed to make it five wins in a row in Las Vegas.
Undeterred, the 39-year old New Zealander looks to get back into the win column when he takes on Antonio Silva this weekend (Dec. 6, 2013) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane, Australia. And with a new-found hunger for fighting, Hunt says its "pretty cool" to still be competing at the highest level at his age.
And despite his most recent setback, he's still determined to become the best fighter on the planet as he recently broke it down to FuelTV AUS:
"I've got the hunger back for fighting and to be doing it at my age is pretty cool. Trying to still do what I do and trying to be the best fighter on the planet, that's what keeps me motivated. It's a real mental challenge and a roller coaster, I love it, it's crazy. I always thought fighting was mental. But, the whole thing is pretty scary. It depends how you use that fear of fighting. You channel it right it becomes your ally, you channel it wrong it becomes your enemy. The joy of fighting, it's hard to explain, you never get the rush from anything else. You put yourself through so much pain, and mentally straining, everything."
Admitting that Dos Santos was a much faster fighter in their 265-pound fight, Hunt says an unexplained roadblock prevented him from getting to his spot during the Memorial Day weekend bout.
And while he tries to put the loss in the rear-view mirror, he'll look to avoid dropping two straight as he takes on "Bigfoot" in an intriguing showdown that he initially didn't want to accept.
"In my mind Bigfoot is just another fighter, just another hurdle that I have to overcome to still be doing what I have to do. He's like number four in the world, so he's a great fighter. The background is, I'm an associate of American Top Team, I trained with all of the guys at ATT and so has Antonio. We worked together before in Miami. It doesn't feel that good (fighting him.) We weren't exactly close friends, it's just the way we work. We have people to support, people to look after, that's' the way it is. It's our job. And I'll have more respect for him after we fight."
Silva will also avoid dropping his second in a row, getting knocked out by current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez in his previous fight, which also went down at UFC 160.
And when the first starts flying in "The Land Down Under," only one heavy-handed heavyweight will likely remain standing.
Who will it be?