Mark "Super Samoan" Hunt turned 39 yesterday.  I've been following him for a while, like 10 plus years, and he's always been a favorite to watch.

Hunt isn't the most skilled fighter, he actually has lost several times during his career in mma and kickboxing.  Out of 59 fights, 20 have ended in defeat.  That's losing 1 out of 3 matches.

He's also not a cartoon character of muscle.  Contrary to popular aesthetic, his body type is similar to someone's beer swilling dad.

What the guy does have can't be taught: heart, chin and power.  Mark will absorb a large amount of punishment to get close enough to missile a thick-boned fist at an opponent's head. 

His KO's aren't just knockouts, they're destructive ballets.

Here's a K-1 fight against Jerome LaBaner.  The french roided dude was considered a huge favorite to win, especially since he had already beat Hunt the previous year.

Galagher can't smash watermelon like that, holmes.

Even when the Super Samoan loses, he's entertaining.  Nothing held back, nothing safe, just balls out until he breaks.

Here's an epic K-1 fight against another islander, Ray Sefo:

Mark moved to the Pride organization to try MMA in 2002. 

At the time Wanderlai Silva was on a 4-year win streak.  He dominated everyone until he fought the Super Samoan.  It was a war which went to decision, Hunt walking away with the victory.  The most remarkable strike in the fight was an atomic slam (jumping on a prone opponent with your ass).  No shit.

Later Mark went on a severe losing streak.  Not because he was over trained or doing recreational drugs, but because people realized striking with the guy is retarded and exposed his massive weakness: grappling.

UFC bought Pride in 2009 and dismantled the japanese organization.  They had to make a decision to father fighters in or pay off their contracts.

UFC President, Dana White, looked at Hunt's record and didn't think he was UFC material, meaning his perceived skill wasn't enough to shed blood under their elite name.

The UFC heavyweight division is flat, especially when compared to the robust talent of the lesser weight classes.  Because of this Mark was allowed to finish out his contract as a stepping stone.

Dana openly shit talked Hunt during press conferences.

The first UFC fight ended in a loss from a submission, which inspired some much needed work on wrestling.

Since that initial loss Mark has put to sleep all of the named fighters he's been matched against, the last of which was Stefan Struve, a young skyscraper of a man who was considered to be the new reaper of the division.

The two met in Japan last month and the fight went like a typical Mark Hunt melee: punches, then carnage.

Struve got Hunt on the ground twice but didn't do much damage.  The work put in to patch the grappling weakness was evident.

Hunt absorbed a lot of damage, a shitton I would say, to get close enough on the inside to use his reach.  Struve's head took powerful blow after powerful blow.

It was quite amazing.

Both men became fatigued but wouldn't relent.  Mark hurt Stefan several times but the kid kept his feet underneath him.

Mark's face took an incredulous look, like you could tell he was thinking "how the fuck do I put this shithead down?", then he fired an overhand left-right combo in the third.

The fists landed squarely on Stefan's jaw and sent a broken tooth sailing off towards oblivion.   It was like watching a grizzly bear open a pudding cup after a long period of starvation.  Oh yeah, he also broke the Struve's jaw.

The ref didn't stop the fight after Struve went down; Mark just walked away confident his opponent had wilted.

I think fighting is one of the last forms of honesty in the 21st century.  All the half-truths, watered down ideology and passive-aggression of our culture don't exist during a fight; because they can't--a person with heart will be exposed.

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