Alistair Overeem injured, withdraws from UFC 160 fight with Junior dos Santos; Mark Hunt volunteers replacement

Joe Scarnici

Alistair Overeem, coming off a tough knockout loss to Antonio Silva at UFC 156, was scheduled to face his rival and former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 this May. Unfortunately, he has succumbed to injury and will be unable to take the fight. Mark Hunt, fresh off a knockout victory over Stefan Struve at UFC on Fuel TV 8, has expressed interest in a potential match up with dos Santos at the event.

Perhaps it's a Heavyweight mixed martial arts (MMA) match up that is just not meant to ever happen.

After their initial showdown blew up at UFC 146 thanks to a positive test for abnormally high levels of testosterone (more on that here), it appeared that the grudge match between then-champion Junior dos Santos and former K-1, Strikeforce champion and then-No. 1 division contender, Alistair Overeem, was all but certain when it was recently re-booked as the upcoming UFC 160 co-main event.

Think again.

MMAFighting.com confirmed today (March 6, 2013) that "The Reem" has once again been forced to bow out; however, this time around he can blame it on an injury sustained in training and not performance-enhancing substances. He was looking to rebound after a stunning knockout loss to Antonio Silva at UFC 156 (watch it here), while dos Santos was also looking to get back on the horse after surviving a 25-minute beatdown at the capable hands of Cain Velasquez (watch it here).

Both fighters, naturally, are more than likely still eager to get back in the win column in their next Octagon appearances. However, it just won't come at each others' expense.

Meanwhile, with the pay-per-view (PPV) event, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 25, 2013, little more than two months away, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will have to line up a quick replacement fight for "Cigano" to keep him on the stacked Memorial Day weekend card.

The good news is that the timing could not be better for one of the recent winners at UFC on FUEL TV 8, Mark Hunt.

"The Super Samoan" told the media that he wanted a quick turnaround after his jaw-breaking knockout (see the damage here and video here) win over Stefan Struve, preferably with a Top 5 opponent (his words here). When contacted by MMAFighting.com, here's what he had to say on the matter:

"If I get the call for the fight, I'm there, of course ... and the fans are crazy for it, so it's good."

This would certainly be an interesting fight, and it couldn't have been timed better for the resurrection of Hunt, who has won four straight fights inside the Octagon, dating back to Feb. 2011.

Stay tuned.

UFC 160 will still feature the second showdown between the reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion, Velasquez, and the aforementioned 265-pound "Bigfoot" Silva. In addition, Glover Teixeira will make his case for a run at the 205-pound title opposite Ryan Bader on the PPV main card.

For all the UFC 160: "Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2" news that's fit to print be sure to hit up our complete event archive right here. And to check out the latest UFC 160: "Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2" fight card and rumors click here.

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