Two powerful strikers with terrific chins will finally collide inside the UFC's Octagon. Mark Hunt returns to Japan once again for a likely main event slot against Roy Nelson on September 20th in Saitama. MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani says the two men have agreed to the bout and the UFC is expected to formally announce this news soon.
Hunt (9-8-1) had a spirited run towards a #1 contender fight against Junior dos Santos before he was felled and KO'd by a wheel kick. He finished 2013 with an epic, unforgettable five-round classic with Antonio Silva that ended with a rare draw. A UFC run that started with a loss to Sean McCorkle on the prelims of a PPV has seen him rise to top or near-top billing status for a 4th consecutive time.
Nelson (20-9) is coming off his own main event appearance against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who he stiffened like a plank in the 1st round of their encounter in Abu Dhabi. It snapped a two-fight losing streak against the likes of Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.
A slugfest is likely and that's what makes this a great fight and solid Fight Night main event. Even recognizing their status at top 10 heavyweights, I think it's an honest assessment that neither man is in a good position to fight (or win) a championship, but that doesn't mean it's not a fun fight that certainly caters to the Japan crowd, who are quite familiar with Hunt dating back to his PRIDE days.
While the UFC hasn't announced broadcast details for this Japan card, recent history suggests this will air live on Fight Pass.