Mark Hunt may not have his visa yet, but the Nevada State Athletic Commission granted him a license to fight Junior dos Santos at UFC 160 next weekend.
Hunt, who is still stuck in New Zealand awaiting a visa to fly to Las Vegas, told the commission on Friday that he is hopeful his visa will come soon.
"I'm still waiting." he said. "I think I should be getting one on Monday. Hopefully Monday."
A UFC representative told MMAFighting.com that they are still confident Hunt's visa issues will be resolved before next weekend's event. Hunt told MMAFighting.com last week that the issue stems from a 2002 arrest, which he said on Friday was quickly dismissed.
In the meantime, the commission approved Hunt to fight in Las Vegas. This would mark just the second time in his MMA/kickboxing career that "The Super Samoan" would compete in "the fight capital of the world."
The UFC also recently approached Roy Nelson about potentially filling in for Hunt, should he not get his visa, so "Big Country" was also asked to apply for a license to fight at UFC 160. The NSAC approved his application on Friday, as well.
However, Nelson is no shoe-in. A source close to the situation told MMAFighting.com that an initial deal couldn't be reached between both parties due to financial terms, however, Nelson is still willing to fight on short notice, if an adequate deal can be made.
Hunt tried to leave New Zealand twice last week but was stopped at the airport both times. When asked if he was worried about having to deal with jet lag on fight week, Hunt looked on the bright side.
"Even if I was," he said, "what can be done about this?"