History seems to be an all too often used word that, for the most part, describes something that is anything but. Robert Whittaker unquestionably made history when he became the first Australian UFC champion \u2013 winning the Interim UFC Middleweight title, which was later unified after Georges St Pierre vacated the title.\r\n\r\nWith an Australian champion, a refreshed push for the UFC to host a Perth event was embarked on and late last year it was confirmed that the UFC would be making history again, with it\u2019s inaugural WA event UFC 221, taking place February 11.\r\n\r\nThe announcement was welcome news to fans that have been justly rewarded with a stellar card, which is sure to shine the spotlight of the world on our Western Seaboard.\r\n\r\nDespite a minor setback losing Whittaker from the main event, the replacement with Luke Rockhold for an interim title, an exciting fighter that has previously tasted victory on Australian shores and is a former Middleweight champ himself, does little to take the sheen of the event.\r\n\r\nAhead of this weekend\u2019s action in Perth we had the chance to sit down with some of the fighters.\r\n\r\n\r\nYou'll also like:\r\nMMA Fighter Georges St-Pierre Launches Bespoke Luxury Wristwatch \u201cThe Rush\u201d\r\nUFC 3 the Game is Available Now and it\u2019s Almost a Knock-Out\r\nWorkout with The Force: Onnit Star Wars Kettlebells\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n"I have three fights left, and I\u2019m out of here." Mark Hunt\r\nMark Hunt (13-11-1,1NC) is a legend of MMA, not just in Australia and New Zealand (his home country) but the world over. A pioneer, he has fought in some of the premier competitions in the world including legendary kickboxing promotion, K-1 and PRIDE Fighting Championships \u2013 his first taste of MMA.\r\n\r\nHe\u2019s also one of the most vocal fighters on the UFC roster, never shy of making his feelings known about the state of the division, UFC policy-makers and the use of enhancements in the sport.\r\n\r\nFor now, his focus is on his opponent this weekend \u2013 Curtis Blaydes (8-1-0,1NC).\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u201cI know Curtis Blades is a strong opponent \u2013 I have no disrespect for him, he is No.9 for a reason but he\u2019s not better than me,\u201d Hunt said recently.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m number 5 in the world, I want to fight these guys that are above me so that I can get my shot at the title. But if I can get past Curtis Blaydes at the weekend hopefully I can get number three next fight.\u201d\r\n\r\nA former title contender in a division that does not have as much depth as some of the others, he\u2019s never more than a couple of fights away from a title shot, something that he\u2019s looking to achieve in 2018.\r\n\r\n\u201cI have three fights left, and I\u2019m out of here. I\u2019d like to get three fights out this year. I want to work hard without injury, and get a shot at the title.\u2019\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nOn the subject of a possible return of Brock Lesner, who defeated Hunt at UFC 200 only for the decision to be overturned after Lesner tested positive for a banned substance. Recent news that Lesner may make a return to UFC has been met with mixed emotions, especially from the man Lesner last defeated.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhat\u2019s disgusting about it\u2026is it\u2019s being pushed out to the whole world is that you can use steroids and cheat. We put these guys on pedestals \u2013 why? When in society we punish people for breaking the law. Why is it ok? I don\u2019t know why they are allowing these guys to come back in [and] say \u2018it\u2019s ok\u2019, fires up Mark.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m honest, I don\u2019t cheat. All it says is to be one of the best fighters is you have got to cheat, you have got to take steroids and it\u2019s not true. You have just got to work hard.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe thought brings back memories of Hunt\u2019s war in Brisbane in 2013 where he faced off against Ant\u00f4nio \u2018Bigfoot\u2019 Silva. It was a fight that would go down in the annuals of history, a sure-fire contender for Fight of the Year 2013, but was tainted by Silva failing subsequent drug tests.\r\n\r\nHunt still bears the scars of that fight to this day; \u201cThat reminds me of it right there (points to a scar on his left hand where he has obviously had an injury\/surgery). That was a year's worth without income.\u201d\r\n\r\nDespite the controversy that follows Hunt he\u2019s looking forward to being part of history in Perth and assures fans not to expect this to go past the first or second round.\r\n\r\n\r\n"I\u2019m not afraid to lose. But I\u2019m going to go out swinging." Tai Tuivasa\r\nAnother fighter that\u2019s keen to make his mark on Perth, is Sydney born and bred Tai Tuivasa (8-0-0). Undefeated in eight fights, he joined the UFC in 2016 and in his first fight, scored a spectacular flying knee knockout of Rashad Coulter and earned him a Performance of the Night bonus.\r\n\r\nFor Tuivasa, the enormity of fighting on the card in Perth is not lost on him and as an Australian, he feels that he has the support of the people on his side.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s massive. Not only is it awesome to be on the first ever card, but also I\u2019m very blessed that my first two fights have been on home soil, in front of the home crowd. We don\u2019t know how long until it comes back do you know what I mean? I\u2019m just very grateful that I get to put a show on for my peoples \u2026this country [are] my friends\u2026my family,\u201d he comments.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWith less than a week until the fight, Tuivasa is a picture of calm. The hard work has been done and now it\u2019s time to fight.\r\n\r\nSmiling at the thought of the fight, he says; \u201cI\u2019m over the training \u2013 I just get to the end of the camp and I want to punch on.\u201d\r\n\r\nAnd as for how the fight is going to finish, there\u2019s only one way he can see it going.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m always looking for a knockout. I like to keep it Bam Bam style - my style, and get in there and get the bonus. Within the next few fights, I want to be knocking down the door of the Top 10.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n"I\u2019m probably going to cut him up pretty badly and the ref is going to pull me off of him," Tyson Pedro\r\nTyson Pedro (6-1-0) is on a different mission. Coming off the back of his first loss to Ilir Latifi (14-5-0) UFC 221 offers him the chance for redemption in front of his home crowd.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen I was winning you would go home and have beers \u2013 like if you\u2019re winning you feel like you\u2019re doing the right thing and when you lose you\u2019re like \u2018ok, we have got to get to work\u2019. So I went back and just started to focus on myself. Up-skilling myself, using my footwork\u2026going back to what I am good at.\r\n\r\n\u201cMy last fight that was more of a strategy issue than a technical loss. I made small mistakes that I needed to fix up and concentrated more on my opponent\u2019s strengths than my own. I won\u2019t make that mistake again,\u201d comments Pedro.\r\n\r\nWhile in camp, Pedro maintains his weight to avoid any last minutes cuts, which he admits he \u2018hates\u2019. It\u2019s true, he looks fit and focussed on the job at hand, while understanding he is still young and with youth, sometimes, comes a lack of experience.\r\n\r\nHe says; \u2018Every time I try and bring in a better version of myself. I\u2019m always moving forward and always trying to bring out what I am doing in training. I\u2019m still learning on the job and it\u2019s early in my career. I listen to a lot of other fighters and once I can get that out \u2013 I think everyone will be pretty excited.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHis success in the UFC has afforded him opportunities that he could never have dreamed of, training in America at Jackson with some legends of the sport. But more than that, it has shown him the potential MMA in Australia has - something that he is proud to be part of growing.\r\n\r\n\u201cYou don\u2019t realise how little our MMA is in Australia until you go over to the states and see how big it is there. I started fighting so that I could go overseas and fight all over the world, but now I want to build it up in Australia,\u201d he says.\r\n\r\nAnd, when thinking of the talent coming up in Australia -Pedro has his eye on a few.\r\n\r\n\u201cJosh Culibao is up there. Isaac Hardman from Queensland, Daniel Rivett who hasn\u2019t even had an MMA fight but is a beast that is coming through \u2013 those are some young guns coming through. There are some kids out there that are going to be good.\u201d\r\n\r\nUFC 221:\u00a0 Romero vs. Rockhold happens in Perth on Feb 11, prelims start from 7.30am AWST and 2pm AWST for the main card.\r\n\r\n\r\nYou'll also like:\r\nMMA Fighter Georges St-Pierre Launches Bespoke Luxury Wristwatch \u201cThe Rush\u201d\r\nUFC 3 the Game is Available Now and it\u2019s Almost a Knock-Out\r\nWorkout with The Force: Onnit Star Wars Kettlebells\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHave you subscribed to\u00a0Man of Many? You can also follow us on\u00a0Facebook,\u00a0Twitter, and\u00a0Instagram.