With Mark Hunt’s visa issues behind him, we’ll be able to move forward with UFC 160′s co-main event between Hunt and Junior Dos Santos.
Mark Hunt will make his way to Las Vegas and Saturday’s UFC 160 card after all, as “The Super Samoan” was granted his visa to travel to the U.S. late last week.
Hunt had been stuck in New Zealand awaiting clearance to fly from the country. He set a self-imposed deadline for obtaining his visa early last week, but the UFC continued to work hard to help get him on a plane.
Hunt will be trying to move his way closer to a potential UFC heavyweight title fight when he faces former champion Junior dos Santos in the co-main event.
Thank u for my visa father
— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) May 19, 2013
Roy Nelson is ready to be called into action if need be next weekend.
The UFC asked Nelson to acquire his fight license in Nevada as a replacement for Mark Hunt.
Hunt is expected to travel from New Zealand to the U.S. and face Junior dos Santos at UFC 160, but Hunt is having visa issues that are delaying his arrival.
“(Nevada) commission approved, ready for fight capital of the world,” Nelson posted on social media.
It remains to be seen if Hunt will make it in time to fight, or if we will see a rematch between “Big Country” and dos Santos. The former champion earned a decision win back in 2010.
Mark Hunt has had enough of dealing with his visa troubles.
The UFC heavyweight is expected to fly to the U.S. and face Junior dos Santos next Saturday night.
However, thanks to a previous run-in with the law, coupled with increased security due to the recent Boston Marathon bombings, Hunt has found it difficult to secure travel from New Zealand to Las Vegas.
While the UFC informed reporters earlier this week that they were working hard to get Hunt cleared, “The Super Samoan” is ready to throw in the towel.
Today is the day if I don’t get visa today I’m going to start eating cake u guys didnt know bout cake day
— mark richard hunt (@markhunt1974) May 16, 2013
As far as Junior dos Santos sees it, the UFC’s heavyweight division as separation.
You have the newcomers who are looking to break into the Top-10. The veterans inside the Top-10, and than another level.
In that level sits dos Santos and current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. The two have met twice before, with “Cigano” scoring a first round TKO victory and Velasquez winning the rematch in dominating fashion.
“Sure, Cain and I are going to fight each other many times throughout our careers,” dos Santos said, during a conference call. “We are, both of us, at another level (in the heavyweight division).”
Dos Santos will meet Mark Hunt at UFC 160 next week, and would likely secure himself another shot at the title with a win. He said the loss to Velasquez was “very difficult for me to accept,” and that “Cain was better than me, he fought better than me; that was his day.”
Overall, there really is a huge difference in the skill level shown by dos Santos and Hunt, but “The Super Samoan” always has that one-punch power.
Mark Hunt says Junior Dos Santos will have to take the fight to the ground, and contrary to what Dos Santos thinks, Hunt says his striking arsenal is on a higher level.
At UFC 160, Junior Dos Santos will face fellow heavyweight Mark Hunt. Dos Santos feels his striking skills will lead him to another KO victory, as he tries to put together another title run.
When Cain Velasquez unleashed his first round assault on Junior dos Santos last year, the reigning UFC heavyweight champion had no idea what happened.
Dos Santos survived the round, but lost the battle, dropping his title to Velasquez.
Now, both will return to action this May at UFC 160, as Velasquez defends his belt against Antonio Silva, while “Cigano” takes on Mark Hunt.
During a recent promotional tour to hype the card, dos Santos talked about the Velasquez match (thanks to MMAWeekly.com for the quotes). It was the first Octagon defeat for the Brazilian.
When I watched the fight, I didn’t know I was out in the first round. I don’t remember that punch,” he said when referring to a Velasquez right that sent him to the canvas. “When I watched the fight and saw that punch, (I realized) everything changed after that. It was almost like automatic reactions after that – just defending myself. I think I learned a lot from that fight. I always try to see the positive in everything. I was fighting (hard) and I think I’m pretty tough doing that (lasting five rounds), even if I got beat.
It’s hard to question the heart of dos Santos, as he battled through 20-plus minutes of Velasquez beating down on him. Against Hunt, he should be able to impose his will more to his style, though he will have to watch out for the knockout power of the “Super Samoan.”
They are teammates and Brazilians, but Junior dos Santos and Antonio Silva would have no problems stepping inside the Octagon against one another – as long as the UFC heavyweight title is on the line.
Both men will be in action this May at UFC 160, as Silva faces Cain Velasquez for the title, while dos Santos meets Mark Hunt.
Wins by the two could lead to a future meeting, and as “Cigano” told ESPN recently, that would be quite alright by him.
“We’re going to fight. For the title, we’re going to fight. We’re good friends and part of the same team, but he has to think about his family and I have to (do the same),” dos Santos said.
He went on to say that he will be “rooting for (Silva). I hope and I think he will be the champion and when we have the fight, I think we will do very well.”
Dos Santos was originally set to face Alistair Overeem, but an injury knocked the former Strikeforce champion out. He said he “doesn’t care about Alistair Overeem. He’s a joke.”
Photo credit: Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
UFC president Dana White offered up some insight to what may happen in May, saying that a knockout win by Mark Hunt over Junior dos Santos would likely secure “The Super Samoan” a future UFC title shot.
“It’s crazy to say, but if he knocks Junior dos Santos out, how is this guy not next in line,” said White, following a press conference earlier this week.
Hunt (9-7) has won four straight, including a recent finish of Stefan Struve to move into the Top-10 of the UFC’s heavyweight rankings.
Dos Santos, a former UFC champion, was scheduled to meet Alistair Overeem at UFC 160, but an injury knocked Overeem out. Hunt offered to step in, then declined, then accepted the fight after talking with White.
If Hunt can find a way to defeat dos Santos, I’ll eat crow and admit he deserves a title fight.