Scratch that, the #RallyForMarkHunt movement has prevailed after all. On Saturday morning, the UFC announced via Twitter that Mark Hunt will in fact step in for an injured Alistair Overeem to fight Junior dos Santos (pictured) at UFC 160.
When news broke Wednesday that a torn quadriceps had forced Overeem out of the May 25 scrap, similarly to when Hunt’s fans bombarded UFC president Dana White on Twitter to get their man swapped in for a suspended Overeem to fight dos Santos at UFC 146, they hit White up again on the social media network to have Hunt sub in for Overeem at UFC 160.
On both occasions, Hunt pleaded for his fanboys to let his boss know he was ready and willing. However, on Thursday, White revealed Hunt was offered the dos Santos bout but declined. White added the dos Santos vs. Overeem heavyweight top contender contest would be postponed until the summer.
The 38-year-old Hunt vehemently denied White’s claims.
“I have never turned down a fight and even wen I was injured I had to force myself not to fight your general fears no man but the almighty,” Hunt posted on Twitter.
Hours later, White vaguely tweeted he had a “GREAT conversation” with Hunt, which led many to believe the shootout would in fact go down.
And that leads us to where we are today.
Dos Santos watched his 10-fight winning streak come to an abrupt halt at UFC 155. The slugger was mauled by Cain Velasquez for his title in their highly-anticipated sequel. The 28-year-old requested an immediate rematch to reclaim his throne, but the UFC decided to head in a different direction.
Hunt has rattled off four straight victories, including last Saturday’s highlight reel TKO over Stefan Struve.
No word on where this move leaves Overeem or what the stakes are for the winner of dos Santos vs. Hunt.
UFC 160 takes place inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Here is the show’s revised roster.
Jeremy Stephens vs. Estevan Payan
Robert Whittaker vs. Colton Smith
KJ Noons vs. Donald Cerrone
Gunnar Nelson vs. Mike Pyle
Abel Trujillo vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Stephen Thompson vs. Amir Sadollah
TJ Grant vs. Gray Maynard
Ryan Bader vs. Glover Teixeira
Junior dos Santos vs. Mark Hunt
Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Cain Velasquez (UFC heavyweight champion)