The UFC heavyweight championship picture will finally have some stability. After a week of chaos, Dana White has finally answered the million dollar question. Cain Velasquez will get the next title shot.
Alistair Overeem was originally scheduled to fight Junior Dos Santos back in May but had to pull out of the fighter after losing his license. Overeem tested positive in a pre-fight PED test for elevated levels of testosterone and had his license suspended until December. Even on the sidelines, Overeem began a trash talking campaign against the champion that got his attention to the point that Junior and the UFC were seriously considering cancelling the planned Velasquez-JDS fight in favor of an Overeem-JDS fight. The only problem there is that in order for that fight to be made, the UFC would have to take a million dollar risk in hoping that Overeem could get his suspension lifted.
Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission officially batted down Overeem’s Hail Mary pass last week. Overeem suggested in an interview that he could get an early hearing from the NSAC. Kizer publicly said otherwise when asked about whether Overeem could reapply before the end of the suspension.
“The regulation indicates that you can’t file an application until that timeframe is up,” Kizer said. “There’s nothing for a commission to put on an agenda. You can’t vote on an application that has yet to be filed. There’s no such door to walk through.”
One of two things must have happened here. For the UFC to actually consider giving Overeem the fight, they had to be under the impression that Overeem had a shot at this early hearing. Either Overeem’s camp did have plans for an early hearing that got shot down once the NSAC started receiving blowback or the camp were just publicly posturing all along with no serious commitment from the NSAC on an early hearing. Either way by Kizer publicly coming out and shooting it down, he sealed the deal for Velasquez’s title shot.
While I think this was the right move to make all along, I wasn’t as irate as some in the MMA media were about Velasquez losing his title shot. Velasquez got KO’d in 94 seconds by JDS two fights ago. Yes Velasquez absolutely destroyed Big Foot Silva, we are talking about Velasquez defeating an opponent that was a) coming off of a loss and b) had never even fought in the UFC before. Compare that to Overeem defeating a former UFC world champion and I think you can make a very good argument that Overeem should be allowed to jump ahead of Velasquez in the title picture.
That said, Overeem is the knucklehead that screwed it up for himself with all of the shenanigans surrounding his recent PED tests and failure. This wouldn’t have even been an issue if Overeem played by the rules of the game. Thus I don’t feel sorry for him, but I also wouldn’t have felt sorry for Velasquez either for not getting the rematch.
[amazon_link id=”8575427830″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Anderson Spider Silva (Em Portugues do Brasil) Autobiopgrahy[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”1936608545″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Chael Sonnen – The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment[/amazon_link]