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UFC officials target Roy Nelson as backup plan if Mark Hunt can't fight at UFC 160

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC officials have asked heavyweight contender Roy Nelson to apply for a license to fight Junior dos Santos in the co-main event of UFC 160, MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani reported on Tuesday's edition of UFC Tonight.

Nelson has yet to accept the offer, but is expected to serve as a backup plan in the event that Mark Hunt is unable to resolve his ongoing visa issues. The Nevada State Athletic Commission are expected to discuss Nelson's application at a hearing in Nevada on Friday.

Hunt has been unable to depart from New Zealand to the United States several times over the past week due to an unidentified arrest in 2002. As of this writing, Hunt is still expected to fight dos Santos.

"A stupid misunderstanding, that's all it is, really," Hunt said on Tuesday's media conference call. "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."

UFC Director of Public Relations Dave Sholler echoed Hunt's sentiment, stating that the UFC is "confident that the issue will be resolved."

Regardless, Nelson appears ready to step in on short notice if need be.

Nelson (19-7) and dos Santos (15-2) met previously at UFC 117, where dos Santos took a unanimous decision on the judges' scorecards, 30-26, 30-27, and 30-27.