UFC Heavyweight Mark Hunt has spent the last couple of weeks with his UFC 160 match against Junior Dos Santos in jeopardy due to issues with his visa. Early Monday came the news that Hunt was issued the appropriate visa the match is on. At the books, Dos Santos is a (-400) big favorite with the payback on Hunt sitting around (+325). The fight is less than a week away, and at the elite level, it would have been extremely difficult to get a replacement that would make it a fight. Hunt is stepping up his level of competition considerably and he would always have been an underdog in a fight with Dos Santos, but the line may be as wide as it is because of the whole visa saga. More pressure Hunt didn’t need.
This is going to be a fun fight if it turns into a slugfest. Hunt is very thick skulled and known for his ability to take punches, but Dos Santos hits very hard and he has ended a lot of fights with his hands. Should the two decide to slug it out toe to toe it is going to come down to Hunt playing defense until Dos Santos tires. With Dos Santos speed negated and armed with the knowledge that he can take Dos Santos best punches, Hunt can look for his shots as the fight wears on. Hunt has been KO’d in the past, so the question will be can Dos Santos find Hunt’s button early?
One problem with a matchup like this is that Hunt will always cede the ground game. Should Dos Santos work to get Hunt down, he might look to end the fight fast with a kimura or an arm triangle. Hunt has been finished fast several times in his career by submission, and Dos Santos may opt to get out of the fight early and unscathed, as he is looking at a title shot in his next outing with a win.
Hunt is a veteran fighter who has very dangerous hands, but the five fight losing streak that he endured earlier in his career says a lot about the ceiling for this 39 year old. Hunt was not able to break through against mainly elite fighters, and he is among the elite in the UFC now. If you think Hunt has improved enough to take one of these guys out, then this is a line to jump on!