Junior dos Santos won’t have to wait for Alistair Overeem to get healthy before he fights again.
Mark Hunt has agreed to square off with the former heavyweight champion at UFC 160 on May 25. MMAFighting.com initially reported the matchup on Saturday morning, and promotion officials later confirmed the pairing. UFC 160 takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a heavyweight title tilt between Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva.
Earlier this week, dos Santos was left without an opponent at the event when Alistair Overeem withdrew from the bout due to injury. While Hunt’s name was a popular choice as a replacement, UFC President Dana White revealed via Twitter that “The Super Samoan” had turned down the fight. Within a span of a couple days, things apparently changed drastically.
“Mark Hunt and I just got off the phone and had a GREAT conversation!!” White tweeted on Friday.
Hunt has been on a roll since losing to Sean McCorkle in his UFC debut. The New Zealand native has won four straight inside the Octagon, most recently knocking out Stefan Struve in the third round of their UFC on Fuel TV 8 encounter. Hunt has also defeated Chris Tuchscherer, Ben Rothwell and Cheick Kongo during his tenure with the promotion.
Dos Santos suffered his first loss in 10 Octagon appearances this past December, relinquishing the heavyweight crown to Velasquez in a five-round verdict at UFC 155. Known for his precise boxing, “Cigano,” captured the title with a first-round knockout of Velasquez at UFC on Fox 1. The Brazilian defended the strap once, stopping Frank Mir in the second round at UFC 146.