UFC’s #6 ranked Heavyweight Mark Hunt (10-10-1) has been on somewhat of a slump lately as he’s dropped his last two bouts in a row. Both via TKO, first in the second round at UFC 180 against current UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum and the second against Stipe Miocic in the 5th round at UFC Fight Night 65.
Hunt may be 0-2 in his last 2 but things could be way way worse. A new book about Hunt’s life, Born to Fight is a harrowing tale of a young boy who was repeatedly beaten by his sadistic father.
Hunt recalls being hog-tied before being whipped by an apple branch until the skin was ripped from his back. “That meant no school for three weeks, so that was okay,” he laughs. “My old man was ruthless. He terrorised us. He’d start with the mental games before he even found the implements to hit us with. He once tied me up in the garage with my hands above my head and beat me with a frigging broom handle. I got away and my brothers came after me. They said ‘F—ing get back there or we’re all gonna get it.'”
However Hunt had it relatively easy compared to his older sister Victoria. She was raped by her father from the age of six until she turned 18 and finally moved out of the family home. Hunt doesn’t remember much about it, except seeing his father disappear into her room each night, and the strong smell of Dettol that he would use to clean himself up with afterwards. “I still can’t stand the smell of Dettol to this day,” Hunt says.
I spoke to Victoria about the abuse. “It happened nearly every day,” she says. “If I refused to have sex with my father he would take it out on my brothers. I mothered Mark; he was the youngest and I was his protector, there was no one else.”
Victoria says her mother knew what was going on and even encouraged it. “She allowed it to happen; it happened in front of her,” she says. “The Mormon Church that my parents went to also knew but did nothing.”
Finally somebody at Victoria’s school alerted the police. “Mum said I’ll buy you a bike if you drop the charges.” Her father was held in custody and finally allowed out when no evidence emerged. When he was released he continued sexually abusing her. “He said if you open your mouth again I will kill you,” she says.
“I was the one who was surviving for my brothers. Steve was a schizo, John was a hermit who kept to his room for days at a time and Mark was lashing out; he was the bully.”
“Yes I was a bully,” Hunt agrees. “But the scrapping on the streets was my way of dealing with the anger I felt towards my parents. Home was never a safe place for me. I felt safer on the streets.”
“I was a cheap criminal; I did many, many wrongs, I admit that. Of course if I could tell each person I’m sorry, I would.”
“Part of my gift as a fighter is being a human punching bag,” he laughs. “I don’t feel pain like most people.”
“We were all just trying to survive in that s—hole. We were like stray dogs. I say hello now and again, but I never told them I loved them, It’s hard to say things like that in my family. My sister is strong. I feel sorry for her but I’ve never sat down and talked to her about what happened.”