UFC 160's Mark Hunt: 'I can't do anything about' visa issues

Esther Lin

As of this writing, the UFC 160 co-main event between former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and Samoan banger Mark Hunt is a go.

News broke last weekend that Hunt wasn't allowed to depart from New Zealand for the United States due to a visa issue regarding an unspecified incident which Hunt said occurred in 2002.

"A stupid misunderstanding, that's all it is, really," Hunt said. "It was just something that happened a long time ago, and it should be cleaned up, I should be clear to fly sometime tomorrow, tonight, whenever."

While Hunt has yet to be formally cleared to travel, he was a part of Tuesday's media teleconference promoting UFC 160. UFC public relations director Dave Sholler, who hosted the conference, made an official statement regarding Hunt's visa issues.

"To put anything to rest, we are confident that the issue will be resolved, and we anticipate Mark can compete in the co-main event of UFC 160," Sholler said. "So again, our team is working through that issue and we anticipate Mark making his way to the United States this weekend."

In the interim, Hunt has done his best to put his legal issues out of his mind and focus on the fight with dos Santos on May 25. Hunt has won four consecutive fights, and a win over the former champion would put him squarely into title contention.

"If I should beat Junior it should put me in the number one spot. I don't see why it wouldn't," Hunt (9-7) said. Later, he said of his hassles "What can you do? I can't do anything about it, it's not in my hands anymore.

"The only thing I got from the U.S. Consulate was 'we'll call you," he said. "... It's not like a threat to America or anything. I'm just ready to do my job and that's it."

As for dos Santos (15-2), the journey back to the Octagon after his December title loss to Cain Velasquez has been bumpy. The former titleholder was originally scheduled to face Alistair Overeem, who had to pull out of the fight. Now Hunt's situation has led to an air of uncertainty.

"When I first heard the news, I was worried," dos Santos said through an interpreter. "I was scared that I wouldn't have a fight. I've trained a lot, I've invested a lot into this training camp, I'm sure Mark is in the same boat, neither of us wants to pull out of the fight next week. My understanding is that it's being resolved."

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