Former K-1 opponent Ray Sefo says it'll be 'a mistake' if Junior dos Santos stands with Mark Hunt at UFC 160

Mark Kolbe

Count Ray Sefo as a firm believer in Mark Hunt. Find out why he's got "The Super Samoan's" back below.

There aren't many kickboxers who know Mark Hunt better than World Series of Fighting promoter Ray Sefo.

During his days inside the squared circle while competing in K-1 in Japan, "Sugar" had one of the all-time great kickboxing wars against Hunt at a World Grand Prix event in 2001.

It was the type of fight that turned both men into fan-favorites, and they were easily able to forge a friendship afterwards.

So it comes as no surprise that Sefo is delighted to see Hunt's mixed martial arts (MMA) career resurgence in the past two years while competing with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The former K-1 Grand Prix runner-up said as much this week on The Verbal Submission while speaking exclusively to MMAmania.com.

"I'm super excited for him and I'm really, really proud of the guy because I've known Mark for years, 20 years or so. He's a Cinderella story and to see him come this far. After his last fight in Japan, my biggest advice to him was 'brother, you've got all the skills, the talent, the weapons, the jaw/chin to become world champion in the UFC so your biggest challenge is losing the weight and staying fast and agile. I saw him with yesterday and he looks in shape and he's ready. Talking to him, he's ready to come and to win. His opponent is a tough, tough guy, but Mark Hunt has faced some of the best in the world so yeah, I can't say enough how proud and excited I am for him."

Hunt will be taking on Junior dos Santos tomorrow night (May 25, 2013) in the co-main event of UFC 146 and the improbable Pride veteran will be potentially vying for a number one contender position in the UFC heavyweight division. While "The Super Samoan" is a pretty hefty underdog, Sefo believes that the longer they stay standing, the better Hunt's odds of pulling off the upset become.

"Honestly, if Junior dos Santos wants to do the stand-up game, that might be a mistake for him. Mark's fought some of the best strikers in the world and he likes it. The more he stands, the better chance of Mark putting dos Santos away. That being said, Mark's ground has improved leaps and bounds. It'll be an interesting fight. At this moment, I'm rooting for Mark. Juniro dos Santos is a great fighter and a great champion. I like the guy, but I'm rooting for Mark."

Hunt's Cinderella story includes four straight wins in the UFC heavyweight division including consecutive knockouts over the likes of Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve to firmly entrench himself in the top 10 rankings. Do you agree with Sefo that Hunt has a good shot if dos Santos keeps it standing?

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