Combat sports, particularly boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA), have long battled issues of corruption, with athletes, judges, and referees becoming targets for bribes. UFC veteran Mark Hunt recently shed light on the extent of corruption in the industry, disclosing a shocking bribe offer to intentionally lose a match.
In an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the 49-year-old Hunt detailed the offer he received in Australia, where he was tempted with a bribe ranging from three to four million dollars. Hunt, a former kickboxer known for his exciting matches against top opponents, considered the offer during a challenging financial period in his life.
“I was offered three or four million dollars to take a dive in a fight here in Australia, and I said, ‘Are you serious?’ I said, ‘No!’ cause that’s just not me. Although I could have done with the money – I was kind of going through some hard times. I could’ve done with three or four million dollars. But, that’s just not my character, that’s just not me,” Hunt explained.
Despite facing financial difficulties, Hunt maintained his integrity and refused the offer, emphasizing that such actions go against his principles. Hunt, who retired from professional MMA in 2018, expressed interest in making a comeback for a boxing match against social media star Jake Paul, highlighting his willingness to compete in fair and transparent contests.
The revelation by Mark Hunt adds another layer to the ongoing discussions about corruption within combat sports, raising concerns about the integrity of the industry and the measures needed to combat such unethical practices.