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If UFC on FUEL TV 8's Mark Hunt didn't find martial arts, he would be in prison

Ahead of his UFC on FUEL TV 8 bout against Stefan Struve tonight (March 2, 2013), Mark Hunt opens up about his childhood and says that if he didn't find martial arts early in his life, he would be in jail.

Mark Kolbe

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Mark Hunt says martial arts saved his life.

While it's not exactly the most unique story in the world of combat sports, Hunt was once a troubled youth who found the light in his life through martial arts. "The Super Samoan" admits he did not make the best decisions growing up, which led him into some tough predicaments.

Hunt (8-7) was headed down a road that would have ended up with him in prison, and feels he his career as a kickboxer and mixed martial arts (MMA) athlete prevented that from happening.

Hunt took a trip down memory lane when speaking with FUEL TV:

"If I wasn't a fighter I would probably be in jail. Fighting saved my life. As a kid I was doing stupid things. Combat sports, martial arts saved me. When everyone else didn't believe in me it was just me who believed in myself. Fighting saved me from that chip on my shoulder, it took that chip away and I didn't have to prove anything."

With the chip on his shoulder long gone, Hunt has turned in to one of the most beloved fighters currently in the UFC heavyweight division. With his carefree attitude and ability to produce highlight reel knockouts every time he steps in the cage, Hunt is without question a fan favorite and is feeling the love going in to his next bout, which takes place tonight (March 2, 2013) against Stefan Struve at UFC on FUEL TV 8: "Silva vs. Stann."

The match up pits Hunt (the heavyweight division's shortest and oldest fighter) against Struve (the heavyweight division's tallest and youngest fight) in a highly intriguing affair that is one of the featured bouts on the UFC on FUEL TV 8 fight card.

Every time Hunt steps in to the cage, there is a distinct possibility for tremendous violence. While he may not have fought in over one year, the American Top Team (ATT) product is confident going in to the bout with Struve. And although he claims not to have a precise game plan, Hunt's goal is to knock the head off the shoulders of "Skyscraper."

"I have a great game plan, my game plan is just to knock his head off. That's the game plan. No, I don't have a plan. I don't have a strategy. I just try to make myself better. So the better I am at fighting, the more he's going to get hurt."

UFC on FUEL TV 8: "Silva vs. Stann" goes down tonight (March 2, 2013) from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. Along with Hunt vs. Struve, the event featured a light heavyweight contest of Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann, a middleweight bout of Hector Lombard vs. Yushin Okami and a lightweight affair of Diego Sanchez vs. Takanori Gomi. will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire card on fight night (Sat., March 2, 2013), starting with the Facebook "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, as well as the main card, which is slated to air at 10 p.m. ET on FUEL TV.

For more on the upcoming UFC on FUEL TV 8 event click here.

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