A fight between Mark Hunt and Roy Nelson is something that UFC fans have wanted to see for quite some time. Now it appears as though the promotion is finally intent on having the two hard-hitting heavyweights square off inside the Octagon. According to UFC Tonight, a Hunt-Nelson clash is being targeted for a September Fight Night event in Japan.
Having the fight take place in Japan would make sense given Hunt’s popularity there. He’s a familiar figure because of his many wars in the K-1 kickboxing promotion, and he also fought in both the Pride and Dream before joining the UFC. “The Super Samoan” has already fought on two UFC events in Japan, registering knockout wins in Saitama against Stefan Struve and Cheick Kongo.
Both men are currently dealing with hand injuries after their last Octagon appearances. “Big Country” destroyed Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the first round of their main event clash in Abu Dhabi at Fight Night 39, while Hunt fought to a majority draw last December in an epic and bloody battle against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at Fight Night 33 in Australia. Hunt had surgery on a broken hand that he suffered in that memorable encounter, while Nelson also recently underwent surgery.
Nelson arrived on the scene as the Season 10 winner of The Ultimate Fighter. He has compiled a 7-5 record inside the Octagon with all seven of his victories coming by way of knockout. His fearsome punching power has helped him take out the likes of Brendan Schaub, Matt Mitrione and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. He’s earned six post-fight bonuses during his Octagon tenure.
The 40-year old Hunt has a similar philosophy, which is why this matchup is so appealing. He was actually close to a title opportunity back in 2012, but was knocked out by former champion Junior dos Santos in an entertaining battle at UFC 160. That loss snapped a four-fight win streak. Hunt is 4-2-1 in his UFC career with four post-fight bonuses to his credit.
In the past, we have seen UFC matchups involving two fighters with tremendous power. What has the potential to take a Hunt vs. Nelson fight to another level is that not only are they two of the hardest punchers in the heavyweight division, but they also possess two of the best chins in the sport. It would have the ingredients to produce an epic contest, and hopefully it becomes a reality.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports