Even though Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) officials are confident Mark Hunt will fight Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 on May 25, 2013 (read more here) the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion is reportedly formulating a back up plan in case "Super Samoan" remains stranded in New Zealand.
His name is Roy Nelson.
Hunt has struggled to travel from his home country of New Zealand to Las Vegas, Nevada, which where UFC 160: "Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2" takes place in less than two weeks, because of visa issues. And as of this afternoon (May 14, 2013) the hard-hitting Heavyweight still did not have a confirmed United States arrival time.
Should Hunt be unable to touch down in "Sin City" in time for the fight, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 10 winner Roy Nelson has been asked step in, according to a report by Ariel Helwani on the most recent edition of FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight."
Nelson (19-7) -- who has apparently not yet provided an answer -- last fought at UFC 159 last month, knocking out Cheick Kongo in the first-round for his third consecutive victory. There was odd interest in a fight between "Big Country" and Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix champion Daniel Cormier later this year; however, Nelson would seemingly prefer to rematch dos Santos, who handed him a three-round beating at UFC 117 in Aug. 2010.
It is unknown at this time how close to the event UFC officials are willing to wait to officially pull Hunt from the card, but if Nelson were to step in it would be his second fight in a 28-day span.
UFC 160: "Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2," which will emanate from MGM Grand Garden Arena in "Sin City," features a main event rematch between Heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, putting his belt on the line against Antonio Silva. In the co-featured pay-per-view (PPV) fight of the night, Gray Maynard and T.J. Grant will battle for a shot at Benson Henderson's Lightweight title.
For more news and notes on UFC 160 be sure to check out our complete event archive right here.