It may not have gone as smoothly as Mark Hunt would have liked, but the heavyweight’s trip to the United States for UFC 160 appears to be back on track.
Hunt, who is slated to face Junior dos Santos in the May 25 co-headliner at MGM Grand Garden Arena, announced last week via Twitter that he was twice denied departure from an airport in New Zealand due to visa issues. The frustrating development has prevented the fighter from acclimating to the weather and time differences of Las Vegas.
In spite of the heavyweight’s recent travel troubles, UFC officials Tuesday remained confident that the hard-hitting New Zealander will compete as planned at UFC 160.
“Right now, our team is working on this issue,” said Dave Sholler, UFC director of communications, during today’s media conference call. “This isn’t the first time we’ve had a travel or visa issue, so we have some of the best people equipped to take care of these issues. We’re pretty confident that Mark is going to get out [of New Zealand] by the weekend.”
Hunt has experienced a career resurgence at 39 years old, winning his last four fights and earning three knockouts along the way. “The Super Samoan” most recently stopped Stefan Struve at UFC on Fuel TV 8, breaking the Dutchman’s jaw with a vicious left hook on March 3 in Saitama, Japan. Hunt answered the call to fight dos Santos just days after that win, agreeing to step in for an injured Alistair Overeem against “Cigano.”