Mark Hunt says he was "down" to fight Junior dos Santos. UFC President Dana White says he turned it down. Who exactly am I supposed to believe? I wanted Hunt to step in for Alistair Overeem really badly, since dos Santos is one of the few top heavyweights other than Overeem he could beat. Seeing Hunt fight Cain Velasquez for the UFC title would be a blowout but probably one of the craziest things to happen in MMA history. I can't understand why more people aren't on Hunt's war wagon here. -- Josh from San Francisco
Mike Whitman, news editor:I do not know whom you should believe, Josh. I am not your spirit guide.
Regarding Hunt’s war wagon, I could not disagree with you more. That baby seems chock-full of folks just begging for the former K-1 World Grand Prix winner to get his shot at the big gold belt, despite the fact that his four straight wins (pretty impressive) have come against Chris Tuchscherer, Ben Rothwell, Cheick Kongo and Stefan Struve (less impressive). That isn’t a diss against any of those guys; I would just like to see Hunt take out somebody near the top of the ladder before we start throwing around words like “title shot.”
As you mentioned, dos Santos is undoubtedly a much, much better matchup for Hunt than someone like Velasquez, and with the the rest of the top 10 currently tied up, this is a booking for which a decent number of people seemed to be pulling. While it initially seemed like those fans would be sorely disappointed, it now appears that they might yet have their wish granted. Not long after Hunt denied turning down the dos Santos bout, White tweeted that he had spoken with “The Super Samoan” on the phone and that the conversation had been “GREAT.”
Whether that Tony-the-Tiger-esque descriptor means Hunt will slide in for Overeem after all is anybody’s guess. However, given that dos Santos-Overeem was pushed back to an ambiguous summer date to allow Overeem to heal, I think there is at least a decent shot we could see Hunt fill the bill sometime before then, provided “Cigano” does not want to wait and Hunt is also not suffering from an injury that would prevent him from fighting sooner rather than later.
Bottom line: I think you can rest easy, Josh. I have a feeling that regardless of whom Hunt faces next, the fighter’s fans will be heard loud and clear.
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