Hunt: UFC took ‘love for fight­ing’

Marlborough Express - - FRONT PAGE -

feel­ing that

Hunt could make one last push for a ti­tle.



Samoan’ could not help but feel his pub­lic bat­tle with the

UFC over dop­ing was held against him. And once he fig­ured a ti­tle shot was never go­ing to even­tu­ate, he strug­gled to stay fo­cused.

‘‘I still want to be the world cham­pion in MMA. I know I’m 44 but still it’s one of my dreams,’’ Hunt said.

‘‘It’s been put off for a lit­tle be­cause of this stupid com­pany. The mo­ment I re­alised I was never gonna get a ti­tle shot, that’s the the time I started los­ing.

‘‘Since the Der­rick Lewis fight, ev­ery fight af­ter that has been not good at all. I ac­tu­ally went to see a sport [psy­chol­o­gist] about it and he hit it on the head straight­away when I talked to him: it’s hard to work for a com­pany that’s cheated you and a lot of other fight­ers.’’

Hunt has been an out­spo­ken critic of the UFC’S at­ti­tude to­wards dop­ing to the point where it over­shad­owed the last few years of his ca­reer.

Hunt re­it­er­ated that he still wants to fight five more times and says he is field­ing of­fers from sev­eral pro­mo­tions.

‘‘I want to see if it’s time to re­tire or if work­ing for the UFC just made me go sour,’’ he said. ‘‘At the end of the day, it’s ei­theror. I still feel like I’m a lot bet­ter than a lot of those guys.’’ Cameron Smith will lead Mel­bourne into the NRL sea­son – and put him­self on track to be­come the first player to reach 400 games – af­ter the club an­nounced his long-awaited re-sign­ing on a twoyear ex­ten­sion and end months of uncer­tainty sur­round­ing the exaus­tralian cap­tain’s fu­ture.

It is be­lieved Smith, 35, wanted a two-year deal but the club pre­ferred a one-year con­tract, con­tribut­ing to the de­lay. He has also trav­elled ex­ten­sively dur­ing the break, spend­ing time over­seas and in far north Queens­land.

‘‘I’m very happy to be con­tin­u­ing my ca­reer with the club that gave me an op­por­tu­nity to play first grade rugby league,’’ Smith said. ‘‘With Bill Slater and Ryan Hoff­man re­tir­ing last sea­son, I want to give Craig [Bel­lamy] and

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