Mark Hunt Receives Visa to Travel, Fight with Dos Santos on at UFC 160

Damon MartinContributor IMay 19, 2013

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:   Mark Hunt of Australia celebrates his win over Chris Tuchscherer of the United States during their heavyweight bout as part of UFC 127 at Acer Arena on February 27, 2011 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The long wait for Mark Hunt to travel to the United States appears to finally be over, and the heavyweight slugger should be on a plane either Sunday or Monday headed for Las Vegas to fight at UFC 160.

Hunt has been waiting for two weeks to receive his travel visa to be able to come to the United States, but because of an arrest that happened in 2002 involving the former K-1 fighter, he's been delayed and unable to get on a plane thus far.

While Hunt was never actually charged with a crime in the incident, he was unable to secure a travel visa for the past couple of weeks, and there was some worry his fight at UFC 160 against former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos was in jeopardy.

Fortunately for Hunt, the red tape that was preventing his travel was cut down over the weekend, and as promised by UFC officials as of last week, the New Zealand fighter will be on a plane headed to the United States shortly (Hunt is expected to be on a plane on Sunday evening with an arrival time in the U.S. on Monday).

Hunt first confirmed the news via Twitter on Sunday.

Representatives from Hunt's camp also confirmed via email to Bleacher Report that the fighter would be on a plane very soon traveling to the United States.

The good news is that Hunt will be able to fight and the UFC won't have to scramble for a last-minute replacement for the co-main event on a major pay-per-view card.

If there is a downside, however, it's the fact that Hunt will be traveling halfway around the world only four days before his scheduled showdown with a former UFC heavyweight champion. 

Hunt's trip was supposed to take place two weeks ago to allow him time to acclimate his body to the time difference, food and other variables that can affect a fighter leading into a bout. Several competitors from countries like Japan have noted in the past that long travel schedules that see them arrive close to a fight date can be a factor when it comes to their performance.

Hunt has traveled long distances for fights for most of his professional career, so hopefully this late-notice trip to the United States won't stop him from putting on the best performance possible when he faces Dos Santos on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.