The highly anticipated Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez UFC heavyweight title fight may have to wait. The champ is trying to change direction, instead wishing to shut up the fighting words of another top contender.
UFC president Dana White told reporters over the weekend that Dos Santos is trying to change direction on the UFC heavyweight title road. After proclaiming Velasquez as the number one contender, White now says that Dos Santos would rather wait for Alistair Overeem. Whether it was by design or pure arrogance, Overeem has gotten into the head of the world heavyweight champion.
White told MMAJunkie.com that Dos Santos told him he does not want to fight Velasquez, as opposed to what he told the UFC a month ago. Instead Dos Santos would prefer to shut the mouth of the former Strikeforce and K1 Grand Prix champion.
“He said, ‘Alistair Overeem is a punk. He’s got a big mouth, and he’s been saying lots of bad things about me, and I want to knock him out. I want to knock him out now.’”
Alistair Overeem was scheduled to fight the champion in May but was pulled after failing a pre-fight PED test. Overeem has since said that he feels Dos Santos is scared of him, while Dos Santos has mocked Overeem, “Man the school of Chael Sonnen is going to have more students because now he [Overeem] is going to start a lot of sh*t just because the UFC gave Chael the opportunity to fight Anderson again”, and told Ariel Helwani.
This has all of the makings of a blockbuster grudge fight!
Overeem’s license is suspended until December. Dana White has gone back and forth on whether he would book Overeem on the final show in December, advertising him for a fight before his license is reinstated. It would be a risky move for the UFC, especially after all of the grief he caused them the last time around. The UFC would be spending a lot of money to promote a fight in the hopes that one of the headliners would get reinstated shortly before the fight.
On the other hand, this wouldn’t be the first time that the UFC took such a big gamble. Just recently, the UFC booked Chael Sonnen in Las Vegas, NV to headline against Anderson Silva at UFC 148 before Sonnen met with the NSAC to clear up licensing issues. The biggest difference there is that there was plenty of time that passed since Sonnen’s license was held up and he had fought a few times since then without incident.
What do you do if you are the UFC? By all rights, Alistair Overeem is the number one contender. He hasn’t lost a fight since he was awarded the title fight and Cain Velasquez only has one win over a guy that never even fought in the UFC. The problem is Dos Santos agreeing to the fight, the UFC announcing the fight, and now Dos Santos trying to backtrack and change course after everything was put in place.
I think that the UFC needs to move forward with Velasquez vs. Dos Santos. It is unfair to give Velasquez a title fight and then take it away for no reason. Grudge or not, as champion you have to fight the number one contender. If the UFC deemed Velasquez the number one contender, that is who you fight.
White told reporters that he is taking the request under consideration. In other words, it would appear that Alistair Overeem has talked himself right back into a title fight that he appeared to lose. Like him or not, this is a brilliant move from a fighter on the outside looking in if Overeem can pull this off.
“I’m not saying that’s what’s happening. I’m just saying to you that’s what (JDS) is saying. He wants this fight,” said the UFC president.
It looks like the Chael Sonnen School of Promoting Fights may have another successful graduate.
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