UFC 160: Mark Hunt Rallies for Shot at Junior dos Santos

Nathan McCarterFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2013

The rallying can now cease for Mark Hunt, as he will indeed get his shot at Junior dos Santos at UFC 160.

Dana White confirmed the fight to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com Saturday morning.

The original co-main event for UFC 160 was scheduled to be Alistair Overeem vs. Dos Santos, but Overeem had to drop out of the bout due to injury. Hunt immediately threw his name out there as a potential replacement.

White tweeted to fans who were asking about the possibility of Hunt vs. Dos Santos that it was unlikely. White claimed the company was seeking a summer date for the originally scheduled bout between Overeem and Dos Santos. It seemed like the hope for Hunt’s biggest fight to date was dead.

Then a late-night tweet on Thursday cracked the door open to shine a glimmer of hope back on this exciting fight.

Dos Santos will indeed fight the former K-1 world champion at UFC 160.

Hunt has had a hell of a ride to get this marquee bout.

From 2006 to 2010 Hunt suffered six straight losses. Five of those six losses came by submission. Now, Hunt is riding a four-fight win streak, with three KO/TKO finishes, into the Octagon on May 25 to battle the No. 1-ranked heavyweight in the official UFC rankings.

Hunt’s most recent TKO win (over Stefan Struve) moved him to No. 9 in the rankings.

Dos Santos is coming off his first UFC loss. At UFC 155 he dropped the UFC Heavyweight Championship to Cain Velasquez by unanimous decision.

The winner of Hunt vs. Dos Santos will have the best claim to the next title shot against the winner of Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. That UFC Heavyweight Championship tilt is the main event of UFC 160.

Hunt vs. Dos Santos looks like heavyweight fireworks on paper and will serve as the perfect lead-in to the main event of the evening. The top of the card will almost surely give us two exciting contests and determine the next heavyweight title matchup.

UFC 160 takes place on May 25 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on pay-per-view.