It came down to the absolute last minute, but it seems Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Mark Hunt has finally been granted a work visa and will fight Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 on Saturday night (May 25, 2013).
On what was reportedly the final day for Hunt to get his visa and make his way to the United States, "The Super Samoan" has come through just six days before the event and will be able to compete in the biggest fight of his career against dos Santos.
"Thank u for my visa father," Hunt wrote on his official Twitter account Sunday (May 19, 2013) afternoon.
Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting was also able confirm with UFC officials that the former kickboxing champion is "likely" to fly out this evening.
Hunt (9-7) was expected to arrive in the U.S. weeks ago but has been stuck in New Zealand after being denied clearance to travel overseas because of an arrest that stemmed back to 2002.
Once UFC officials became aware of the situation they began working on finding a way to bring the 39-year-old to Las Vegas, Nevada for his fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, but as the event drew closer it seemed there was a good chance Hunt would not make it.
The UFC put a contingency plan in place by putting The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 10 winner Roy Nelson on stand-by to face dos Santos, and on Friday (May 16, 2013) "Big Country" was even licensed to compete at the event by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Fortunately, the worst case scenario has been avoided and despite only having just a few days to travel and get acclimated to the "Sin City" scenery, Hunt will indeed face off with "Cigano" at UFC 160.
For more news and notes on UFC 160: "Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2," be sure to visit out complete event archive here.