Height: 5'10" (178cm)
Weight: 262 lbs
Camp: American Top Team
Mark "Super Samoan" Hunt (born March 23, 1974) is a New Zealand born Samoan kickboxer and mixed martial artist, currently living and fighting out of Sydney, Australia.
Hunt is known for his raw strength and KO power. As a kickboxer he shocked the world on December 8, 2001 by winning the K-1 World Grand Prix 2001 Final.
Mark Hunt was born into a large, tight knit Samoan family in a tough suburb of South Auckland, New Zealand. He was a troubled kid and had no intentions to be a professional fighter, until one late night altercation outside a nightclub in Auckland changed the course of his life.
The brawl didn't last long, Hunt knocked out his adversary, Alex Tui. One of the bouncers at the door was so impressed by the young man's knockout power and invited him to Sam Marster's Gym to take up formal training.
A couple of weeks later in 1995 in Otahuhu, New Zealand, Hunt was in the ring on his professional debut and knocked out his opponent Gary Hart in the second round. Mark got a six-pack of beers as payment and the bouncer became his first muay thai coach. Later that year Mark moved to Sydney, Australia to train with Alex Tui. A few years later he settled in Liverpool Kickboxing Gym under fellow Samoan instructor Hape Nganoroa.
Hunt's mixed martial arts career saw him fight in events in Japan's PRIDE Fighting Championships. His first MMA fight was a submission loss to Hidehiko Yoshida, an Olympic gold medalist in judo. In his second fight, he defeated American wrestler Daniel Bobish by TKO. Hunt stepped in as a late replacement for Sakuraba, and won a split decision against an outweighed PRIDE middleweight (205 lb) champion Wanderlei Silva. Silva, renowned for his brutal punching and Muay Thai clinch game, was neutralized by the hard-hitting Samoan and knocked down several times in the fight.
At the PRIDE Shockwave 2005 event, Hunt surprisingly defeated Mirko Filipovic "Cro Cop" via a dubious split decision, after his earlier loss to him in K-1. At PRIDE 31: Unbreakable, Hunt defeated Japanese boxer Yosuke Nishijima in the third round with a powerful one-two punch.
Hunt's next fight was in the opening round of PRIDE's 2006 Open-Weight Grand Prix (PRIDE Total Elimination Absolute) on May 5, 2006. His opponent was Japan's Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, who he defeated by TKO in the second round. He then faced American catch-wrestler Josh Barnett at PRIDE Critical Countdown Absolute in the second round of the tournament. Hunt was immediately taken down by Barnett and ultimately lost to a kimura submission roughly two and a half minutes into the first round.
Following that fight, Hunt next lost to PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE Shockwave 2006. Hunt controlled Emelianenko most of the fight and even effectively countered an armbar early in the bout. Hunt's greatest chance of winning came when he was able to put Emelianenko in an americana. Unfortunately for Hunt, Emelianenko was able to fight through it and submit Hunt with a kimura.
On July 21st, 2008, more than a year after his last MMA fighter, Hunt returned to MMA to face Alistair Overeem at DREAM 5, and was submitted by an armlock in just over a minute into the first round.
His latest MMA fight was at Dynamite!! 2008, where he was set to fight Melvin Manhoef, who was a late replacement for Jerome Le Banner. Despite the fact that he had a substantial weight advantage over Manhoef, he was knocked out in 18 seconds in the first round. This marked the first time he had been stopped by knockout due to punches to the head.