US visa may KO Kiwi UFC fighter Mark Hunt

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 05:00 19/05/2013
Mark Hunt
Reuters
BIG CHALLENGE: Mark Hunt will take on Junior dos Santos.

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Kiwi UFC fighter Mark Hunt is concerned all the Auckland training in his "best camp ever" for his fight next weekend against Junior dos Santos may go to waste if his visa issues aren't solved by tomorrow.

Hunt has tried, and failed, to travel to the United States three times over the past two weeks, with US Customs not letting him in due to an arrest in Las Vegas in 2002.

It is understood the UFC is stepping in to resolve the issue for Hunt, with tomorrow the last possible day he is able to travel to Las Vegas for his UFC160 fight.

Hunt is frustrated over the ongoing visa issues.

A former K-1 world champion, he has spent the past two months in Auckland training for the fight against former world heavyweight champ dos Santos, and knows the less time he has on the ground in Las Vegas before the clash, the less time he has to acclimatise.

"The training has been really, really good . . . I have had one of the best camps of my whole career, and it has been here [in Auckland]," Hunt said.

"I am ready to go. The problem is to acclimatise. I have fought a few times in America [and] acclimatisation is really important. It is a shame to go and waste all of this hard work on three or four days of jet lag."

UFC supremo Dana White previously said that Hunt would receive a match-up against Roy "Big-Country" Nelson if he beat his Brazilian opponent in Vegas. That would then guarantee Hunt a heavyweight title shot - though the Auckland-born 39-year-old said he doesn't want to think about that.

"I am just looking to fight the fight and do the best that I can . . . win, lose or draw. If I have given my best inside [the Octagon], I feel better when I walk out, even if I lose.

"It is one fight, and if I do get up next weekend, well it isn't up to me if I get a title shot. You would think it would be the case, but who knows."

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