It only took a day-and-a-half for UFC president Dana White to turn around from saying Santos would sit out and wait for a summer showdown with Alistair Overeem to eventually offering the shot to Hunt instead.
Hunt has accepted and now gets his shot at facing the former UFC heavyweight champion in May. The news was first confirmed by MMAFighting.com, and UFC officials then announced the bout on Saturday.
UFC 160: JDS vs Mark Hunt. #heavyweights #Vegas #SoIn3/9/2013, 4:45:46 PM
Earlier this week, former K-1 Grand Prix champion Overeem suffered a partial tear in his quadriceps muscle that forced him out of his long awaited bout against Santos at UFC 160.
Immediately, Hunt and a growing support system on Twitter rallied for the "Super Samoan" to get the crack at Santos instead.
At the time, White said that after an initial conversation with Hunt he actually opted to turn down the fight. In reality it appears negotiations took a dramatic turn after a brief phone conversation between Hunt and White late Thursday evening, and now the fight is official.
Following an initial loss to Sean McCorkle in his UFC debut, Hunt comes into the UFC 160 fight against Santos on a four-fight winning streak, currently the longest in the heavyweight division.
A former K-1 Grand Prix champion as well, Hunt brings an iron jaw and concrete fists into the bout against Santos. On his four fight win streak, Hunt has knocked out or TKO'd three of those opponents including his jaw shattering victory over Stefan Struve earlier this month at UFC on Fuel 8 in Japan.
Now Hunt gets the biggest opportunity of his career when he faces Santos at UFC 160 in a bout that could very well determine the next contender to fight for the UFC heavyweight title.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report