Biography(references)Hunt was born in South Auckland, into a large Samoan family, and was a troubled child eventually leading to two jail terms for violent offending. He had no intention to be a professional fighter until a late night altercation outside a nightclub just after getting out of jail for the second time in Auckland changed the course of his life. The brawl did not last long, and Hunt knocked out multiple people. Sam Marsters, one of the bouncers at the door was impressed by the young man's knockout power and invited him to his gym to take up formal training, and a week later, Hunt won a Muay Thai kickboxing match via knockout. Later that year Hunt moved to Sydney, Australia , to train with Alex Tui, and few years later he settled in Liverpool Kickboxing Gym under Maori instructor Hape Ngaranoa.
Combat ApproachHunt also holds a notable KO victory over Roy Nelson, who is cited as having one of the most durable chins in combat sports. This was shown in his bout against Mirko Cro Cop in K-1 World Grand Prix 2002 in Nagoya, in which he went the distance with the Croatian in spite of being hit by one of Cro Cop's famous headkicks in the third round. Hunt fought Cro Cop a second time in Pride Shockwave 2005 and won by decision.
Fighter Trivia(references)In August 2015, Hunt became a vegan after viewing undercover video footage of the insides of a factory farm. However, on 7 July 2016, Hunt stated that he has not gone completely vegan due to the time demands of the sport, but is a vegetarian. Auckland's UFC team and Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa performed "Haka – a traditional war cry, dance or challenge from the Maori people from New Zealand" to cheer and support Hunt on his upcoming fight against Derrick Lewis.
Awards & Accolades
K-1: 2002 K-1 World Grand Prix Final 3rd Place
K-1: 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion
K-1: 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix in Fukuoka Repechage B Champion
K-1: 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix Preliminary Melbourne Champion
K-1: 2000 K-1 Oceania Grand Prix Champion
World Kickboxing Federation: 1999 WKBF Australian Super Heavyweight Champion
UFC: Knockout of the Night (Two times) vs. Chris Tuchscherer and Stefan Struve
UFC: Fight of the Night (Three times) vs. Junior dos Santos, Antônio Silva, and Derrick Lewis
UFC: Performance of the Night (Two times) vs. Roy Nelson and Frank Mir
Sherdog: 2014 All-Violence Third Team
Fight Matrix: 2004 Rookie of the Year
Fight Matrix: 2004 Most Noteworthy Upset of the Year vs. Wanderlei Silva on 31 December
Fight Matrix: 2004 Most Lopsided Upset of the Year vs. Wanderlei Silva on 31 December
World MMA Awards: 2014 Knockout of the Year vs. Roy Nelson
MMAJunkie.com: 2014 September Knockout of the Month vs. Roy Nelson
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