Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Mark Hunt is still in New Zealand, unable to clear United States Customs and board a plane bound for Las Vegas, Nevada, to fight Junior dos Santos next weekend in the co-main event of UFC 160, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
"Super Samoan" has attempted numerous times and has been frustratingly turned back because of an old arrest that took place more than one decade ago courtesy of some "idiot friends." He plans to give it one more shot tomorrow (Sun., May 19, 2013), but if he is unsuccessful again, Hunt will have no other choice but to withdraw from possibly the biggest fight of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career to date, according to Stuff.co.nz.
Hunt lamented about simply running out of time:
"The training has been really, really good -- I have had one of the best camps of my whole career, and it has been here [in Auckland]. I am ready to go. The problem is to acclimatize. I have fought a few times in America [and] acclimatization is really important. It is a shame to go and waste all of this hard work on three or four days of jet lag."
The promotion has apparently been pitching in for more than one week now, attempting to help Hunt resolve his visa issues and convince U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials that Hunt is "not a threat to America." Those pleas, apparently, have fallen on deaf ears up until now.
Tomorrow is hopefully a different story, with Hunt remaining cautiously optimistic (still), commenting on Twitter.com earlier today that he hopes to finally get the green light to fly out to "Sin City" tomorrow. If not, it would most likely mean that Roy Nelson -- who has reportedly been put on standby in the event that Hunt was indefinitely help up -- will be pressed into emergency action to rematch "Cigano" this upcoming Memorial Day weekend.
Tick-tock, tick-tock goes the clock.