Alistair Overeem watched his UFC title shot and credibility slip through his fingers overnight. Overeem will eventually fight again but can he restore his image? According to Overeem there should be no questions about PED use the next time he steps foot in the octagon.
Overeem popped up at UFC 148 over the weekend and made himself available to the media. Overeem talked to reporter Ariel Helwani about a number of topics, including PEDs. I’ll give Overeem some credit. Unlike some former fighters (Chael Sonnen) who get busted and try to avoid the subject, Overeem is not only answering questions about PEDs, he is taking the controversy head on. Although to be objective, quite a few of his answers are suspect to say the least. For a guy who is a professional athlete, he sure seems to plead a lot of ignorance when it comes to performance enhancing drugs.
When asked about the suspension and the positive tests Overeem said, “Im the most tested fighter on the planet.” Overeem is referring to the fact that he has voluntarily opened himself up for random drug tests. This is Overeem’s attempt to win back the trust of the UFC and the MMA world after looking rather foolish at his PED hearing in front of the NSAC. Overeem is asked about whether he thinks the UFC will book him before he is licensed and he says no but later says he is hoping to fight in 2012.
UFC president Dana White was very critical of Overeem a few weeks ago. The prez is now starting to warm up to the idea of doing business with the former Strikeforce and K1 champion. He also did not shut the door on booking Overeem in December before his hearing. “He’s doing all the right things now,” White said. “He’s fixing all the wrongs. We’ll see what happens.”
Claiming to be the most tested guy on the planet is a big claim. I have to imagine that there are players in other sports that are tested more frequently than Overeem. Even so, Overeem is not getting tested by any commission right now. These tests are being done on his terms so who knows how accurate they are or if they will be taken into consideration in December when he has his hearing. Overeem tells Helwani they are being handled through an independent organization. Helwani asks him what the name of the organization is to which Overeem responds, “you’d have to ask my manager.”
One interesting note on the interview was Overeem’s rant on UFC champion Junior Dos Santos. JDS has been very outspoken about Overeem’s suspension and use of PEDs. Overeem thinks that JDS is speaking more out of fear than any concern about the spot.
“I know (JDS) didn’t want to fight me in the first place. I know he was happy [about the NSAC decision], I just know that. I hit very hard, I’ve knocked out a lot of people, I’ve submitted a lot of people. I am, in any way you look at it, a legitimate threat to his title. I’m gonna get it. He knows that. Cain (Velasquez) is also doing very well right now, but Cain doesn’t hit as hard as I do. Cain is smaller than I am and has less experience. I’m the biggest legitimate threat out there, that’s why he’s afraid.”
It looks like the UFC has a natural rivalry on their hands. Unfortunately for them, they can’t do a thing about it until Overeem gets his license back.
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