Auckland heavyweight Mark Hunt is one step closer to a world title shot in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
A training injury's forced UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez to withdraw from his fight next month in Mexico City against No.1 contender Fabricio Werdum of Brazil.
That hands No.4-ranked heavyweight Hunt the five-round main event fight against Werdum on November 16th.
The winner will claim the interim UFC title, followed by a bout against Velasquez for the world title proper.
Hunt, who's got a record of 10 victories, eight defeats and one draw in professional mixed martial arts, is coming off a walk-off knockout against the iron-chinned Roy Nelson in Tokyo in September.
Werdum is 18-5-1.