After UFC President Dana White said on Twitter that Mark Hunt turned down the fight, the tides have changed and Hunt will face Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 on May 25, according to reports early on Saturday morning.
Hunt replaces Alistair Overeem, who injured his quadricep and was forced out of the fight, which takes place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
After initial reports said Overeem was out of the fight, dos Santos’ manager, Ana Claudia Guedes, told GracieMag.com that her fighter never picks opponents, and he will fight whoever the UFC says is the best fight for him.
According to Saturday mornings report, Hunt is that fight.
Hunt (9-7) comes into the bout on a four-fight win streak. In his last outing, he knocked out — and broke the jaw of — Stefan Struve in the co-main event at UFC on Fuel TV 8 in Japan earlier this month. Hunt entered the UFC with a 5-6 record, but has gone 4-1 since debuting with the company in 2010.
Former heavyweight champ dos Santos (15-2) comes off losing his championship belt in a rematch with Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 last December. The outcome stunned most, as dos Santos knocked out Velasquez in their first meeting in just 64 seconds.
A win by dos Santos or Hunt will mean a stronger voice for talks about who will be the next No. 1 contender to the heavyweight title.
MMAFighting.com first reported news of the dos Santos-Hunt match-up.