Mark Hunt has been booked for a fight but, judging by his recent comments, it is not the fight he was chasing.
Hunt, a fighter who has had a series of public feuds with the UFC in the last 18 months, had stated his case for a #1 contendership bout with Fabricio Werdum in Australia in the first quarter of 2018.
The UFC, on the other hand, have apparently thought better of it. The promotion announced today Hunt will face Curtis Blaydes at UFC 211 in February, an event which will be headlined by a middleweight title bout between Robert Whittaker and Luke Rockhold.
Blaydes (9-1) was last seen at UFC 217 in New York City where he earned a (somewhat strange) doctor stoppage win against Alexiy Oliynyk. To date, Blaydes’ only defeat in his professional career has come opposite heavyweight wrecking ball Francis Ngannou in his UFC debut in 2016.
Hunt, meanwhile, will come into the bout on the back of a win against Derrick Lewis in New Zealand last June. Prior to that he suffered a defeat to Alistair Overeem and fought to a No-Contest with Brock Lesnar on the main card of UFC 200.
UFC 221 will take place on February 11th next at the Perth Arena in Australia. Other announced bouts currently include Jussier Formiga vs Ben Nguyen, as well as Tyson Pedro taking on Saparbek Safarov.