Travel issues in the fight game are commonplace, especially with so many fighters in the UFC originating from nearly every corner of the globe. But Mark Hunt’s situation is cutting close to the wire with his UFC 160 co-main event bout with Junior dos Santos slated for a week from Saturday.
UFC officials on Tuesday, however, said they were confident that the issue would be resolved in time to get Hunt from New Zealand to the United States in time for the fight.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had a visa issue or a travel issue,” said Dave Sholler, UFC Director of Communications.
“Our team is working through the issue and we’re confident Mark will be making his way to the U.S. this weekend.”
Hunt was supposed to have made the trip a few days ago, but he ran into a snag due to a past arrest in the United States, although he was never charged or prosecuted.
Much of the added scrutiny is believed to be due to heightened security following the recent Boston Marathon bombing.
Hunt wanted to arrive in Las Vegas with time to avoid the acclimatization issues that have affected him in the past.
“I’m running out of time to acclimatize,” Hunt said on Tuesday. “I fought once in Vegas before. I went out four days before the fight and it was quite tiring. It was a bit of a problem.”
He is currently 11 days out from UFC 160, so if he can make it to the United States by the weekend, Hunt will still have more time to acclimatize than in the past. But he is keenly aware that the clock is ticking.
Sholler reiterated, however, that the UFC officials working to rectify the situation expect Hunt to gain clearance soon.
“We’re pretty confident that he’s going to get out of there by this weekend,” he stated.
“As for a Plan B, we haven’t even gotten to that point because we’re confident this situation is going to get worked out. As of right now, the UFC 160 co-main event is Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt.”