You have to feel sorry for Alistair Overeem in Las Vegas this weekend. Who else, in their right mind, would want to be having a scrap with a very pissed off, revenge-eager Mark Hunt.
"For the first time ever I've wanted to really hurt someone in the Octagon," Hunt, 42, told Stuff.co.nz earlier this week.
"I can't do anything about the legal side of it, it's in the legal process at the moment, but all I know is I'm going to be putting my best foot forward to getting this cheater out of here."
Sunday's (NZT) fight will be the first time the legendary Kiwi UFC heavyweight has been in the Octagon since last July. So much as happened to, and around, Hunt since to turned him into the most dangerous, angrily coiled rattlesnake in recent UFC memory.
Highlights of Hunt's fight with Brock Lesnar last July. Source: Youtube.
Last July, Hunt fought former WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar in a high profile fight that saw the Kiwi lose by a unanimous decision in UFC200. Yet only a week after the fight, Lesnar tested positive to a banned substance - before being temporarily suspended the following month.
Lesnar's ban was the third time that one of Hunt's UFC opponents had tested positive for a banned substance, making Hunt see red. Ever since, he's has been on the warpath regarding drugs in the sport.
That warpath reached its zenith in January, when Hunt filed a lawsuit against Lesnar, the UFC and high-profile president Dana White. In addition to the claims of continued drug cheating, Hunt accused the UFC of racketeering, fraud, negligence and breaches of contract.
Though the UFC have filed a motion to dismiss the charges, Hunt, for the first time since last July, will have a chance to show the MMA world how aggrieved he actually feels. Ironically, it'll come against a bloke, Overeem, who has already served a nine-month ban for elevated testosterone levels, in 2012.
"To be honest, I should be feeling really excited about fighting this weekend and being back in Vegas where everything happens … but I'm kind of upset being here because of what's happened," Hunt, a former K-1 world champion, told the New Zealand Herald this week.
"I've missed out on three fights - that's $3 million or $4m that me and my family should have got. So why did I miss out on that money? I did nothing wrong [and] yet I'm the one being punished, I'm the one being ostracized."
Following the Lesnar debacle, Hunt told the NZ Herald about his idea to set up a 'fighters union.' He was widespread support for the idea, he says.
A preview of Sunday's UFC209 fight between Mark Hunt and Alistair Overeem. Source: Youtube.
"Some of them [fighters] are trying to implement the "Ali Act" which is a bit more transparency throughout the company … and trying to create an even playing field," Hunt said.
"I've said it before, someone could die in the ring if they come up against someone using steroids. It should be a criminal act where the guy goes to jail."
Hunt has five fights left on his current contract with the UFC, but given the current state of trust between the two parties, and the Kiwi heavyweight's age, you'd have to wonder if they are take place.
Hunt remains one of only three Kiwis left in the UFC, alongside Dylan Andrews and Dan 'The Hangman' Hooker. Kiwi UFC pioneer James Te Huna retired last March after repeated issues with concussions.