Alistair Overeem hasn’t been knocked out in almost five years so if you expected him to do down easy, you’re mistaken. In the face of a failed pre-fight drug test, the “Reem” will proceed with his plans to get licensed by the NSAC and fight for the UFC heavyweight title on May 26.
[adinserter block=”2″]All indications appear to be that the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion and K1 Grand Prix winner will indeed move forward with plans to get licensed for his UFC heavyweight championship fight against Junior Dos Santos. The announcement is a bit perplexing as it comes just a couple of weeks after Overeem was popped for elevated testosterone levels.
Once the announcement was made about Overeem’s positive PED test, it was all but assumed that the UFC heavyweight championship fight between Overeem vs. Dos Santos would be scrapped. How could Overeem get a license after such a test? Apparently the Overeem camp feels that they have something up their sleeves that will indeed get their challenger a license at a time when nobody is expecting him to fight.
The mystery gets even stranger as Overeem did not request the B sample he provided along with his original tests. Overeem could have gotten the positive PED thrown out with a discrepancy in the B sample. Instead, Overeem is heading to the hearing with a different strategy in place.
Many critics questioned Overeem’s logic showing up in Las Vegas with such high levels of testosterone, knowing he could be tested. Overeem failed a test by having a greater than 10-1 testosterone to epitestosterone ratio. Nobody expected Overeem to have the guts (or stupidity) to proceed with licensing after receiving such high results.
One thing I have read several MMA writers bring up is whether the NSAC actually had the legal right to test Overeem at the UFC 146 press conference. Overeem’s license expired, which brings up the legal question as to what authority the NSAC has in enforcing the test. My hunch is that this will the argument Overeem’s team makes at the hearing.
Dana White immediately counted Overeem out and started talking about plans for a new UFC championship fight. However, White appears to have changed his tune a bit in the last few days and will wait until the hearing to decide what he wants to do. Maybe White is convinced that Overeem will get licensed?
[adinserter block=”1″]Even if Overeem gets licensed, the stigma of being popped for such high levels won’t go away. I don’t think it will harm his career as Chael Sonnen is just months away from making more money for one fight than he probably has his entire career (a fight booked outside the U.S. coincidentally). If Overeem gets licensed, beats Dos Santos, and passes all pre fight medicals, all will likely be forgotten.
Overeem is expected to be present for the hearing on April 24. The UFC is also expected to have a backup fight ready to be announced on the 24th should Overeem not get his license.
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