Born to fight - Mark Hunt's story of survival

UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt the Super Samoan knocked Antonio Silva out in the first round of their rematch in Melbourne earlier this week- putting him back on the upward move in the rankings. 


One decisive right hand punch to the head, from Hunt, was enough to settle his rivalry with ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in a first-round TKO. 

Hunt’s win doesn’t come as a surprise to many, the 41-year-old UFC heavyweight champion’s had a very successful fighting career.

However fighting, according to Hunt’s autobiography Born to Fight, was something he’d been exposed to from a very young age- when he and his siblings suffered horrendous physical and mental abuse from their father. However Hunt notes that while he and his brothers got it bad, it paled in comparison to what his sister Victoria was subjected to- although he didn’t quite understand it at the time being so young.

Written by Ben Mckelvey, the book was released this year and details a childhood no one wants to experience in their lifetime and how he rose above the darkness of his past- which included addiction to gambling and drugs- to unprecedented success in Australian and New Zealand combat sports. 

The book, according to Mckelvey, seems to have allowed Hunt to confront his past and has helped therapeutically for both Mark and his sister, who spoke about the abuse she suffered at the hands of those who were supposed to protect them. 

“Much of what’s in the first chapter of the book was only possible because of my sessions with Victoria, who had recently undergone counselling, and strongly believed in the redemptive nature of sharing her mental burdens. Mark too had undergone counselling- once informally, with Julie, and later formally, after a violent spiral that coincided with his losing streak in DREAM—and felt the same way about sharing, but still found it more difficult to go back to those early years.”

In an ongoing career that has crossed the globe, Mark Hunt has been in some of the UFC, Pride and K-1's most memorable showdowns. However in some ways those fights seem to be nothing, compared to what he’s had to overcome outside of the ring and cage.