Kiwi fighter Mark Hunt has been pulled from the upcoming UFC event in Australia following recent confessions that he had been slurring his words and suffering severe memory lapses.
The 43-year-old was scheduled to fight Poland's Marcin Tybura in the main event at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena on November 19.
However, UFC officials have opted to withdraw him from the event in the interests of fighter safety after the publication of an article which details his struggles with fight-related health issues.
"My body is f**ked but my mind is still here. I’ve still got my senses about me and I know what’s right and wrong, which is the main thing," Hunt wrote in a piece for the Players Voice.
"Sometimes I don’t sleep well. You can hear me starting to stutter and slur my words. My memory is not that good anymore.
"I’ll forget something I did yesterday but I can remember the shit I did years and years ago. That’s just the price I’ve paid — the price of being a fighter."
Fromer heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum will take his place on the card, the Brazilian fresh off a dominant submission win over Walt Harris at UFC 216 in Las Vegas this past weekend.
It's another chapter in a tumultuous 12 months for the 'Super Samoan', who's currently embroiled in a lawsuit with his employers regarding his bout with Brock Lesnar in July 2016.
He's seeking punitive damages after claiming that the UFC had prior knowledge of Lesnar's failed drug tests, which came to light in the wake of his loss to the hulking American.
Hunt has taken to social media to vent his frustration in no uncertain terms.
Dana White u piece of s**t motherf**ker why u f**kers pull me from the fight,
He wrote in an Instagram post.
U getting another lawsuit u f**ckwit u can kiss my ass u bald headed prick. U put that chicken shit bitch in get f**ked c**ksucker.
The promotion has released a statement clarifying its position, defending its decision as in the interests of Hunt's long-term well-being.
The health-related statements made by Hunt in the article represent the first time UFC was made aware of these claims,
said the UFC.
Athlete health and safety is of the utmost importance to the organization and it would never knowingly schedule an athlete complaining of health issues for a fight.
The organization will require that Hunt undergo further testing and evaluations prior to competing in any future UFC bout.
The South Aucklander last fought at the UFC Fight Night event held in Auckland back in June, where he scored a TKO win over Derrick Lewis in the card's main event.