UFC heavyweight title challenger Alistair Overeem recently failed a surprise drug test in Nevada, testing positive for an overly high ratio of testosterone-to-epitestosterone, which would be indicative of performance enhancing substances in his system.
Overeem will go before the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 24 to have an opportunity to defend himself.
Fighters in the past that have failed similar drug screens have not been successful in fighting the results, but Overeem, at least publicly, has appeared confident that he is still fighting Junior dos Santos on May 26 at UFC 146.
Most fans, pundits, and industry insiders, however, believe that there is no way that Overeem is going to dodge the bullet and get licensed by Nevada, which effectively removes him from the fight.
After initially exploding about the situation, UFC president Dana White has removed himself from talk about Overeem. One of his few comments was about Frank Mir, who is the most logical replacement should Overeem not be allowed to fight.
“Mir vs Cain will happen,” he tweeted in response to a fan.
With his most recent statements on the situation, following UFC on Fuel TV 2 in Sweden, White certainly doesn’t sound like a man that thinks Overeem has a leg to stand on. He sounds more like a man that is doing everything in his power from blasting Overeem before he has his day in court, so to say.
“We’re waiting to see what the Nevada State Athletic Commission… just to address that. I think I made myself pretty clear when this thing happened. I don’t have the temperament to talk about this,” said White. “I will say things that you guys will love and I will hate, next week.
“So let me just say this: everybody gets due process. Alistair Overeem will have his due process with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, we’ll see what happens, and we’ll go from there. And when it all goes down, somebody else will speak about this, not me.”
Not exactly the type of talk that is likely to bolster Overeem’s confidence in finding a way out of this situation.
Ever since Overeem’s positive results was revealed, everyone wondered why the UFC didn’t just come out and put Mir in his place.
White’s comment about Mir vs. Velasquez, in particular, caught many off guard, leaving them wondering who else could be slotted in. It could very well be the “due process” that White mentioned that lead to the statement about Mir vs. Velasquez, however.
The UFC has to allow Overeem to present his case before the commission. Overeem is not currently licensed in Nevada, so he is not under any type of suspension. If nothing changes, he will be denied a license and probably not allowed to re-apply for at least a year. But as it stands, he hasn’t currently received a ruling that precludes him from fighting, likely why the UFC has yet to officially remove him from the fight.
Once he has his day before the commission, that is likely to change, and so could White’s stance on Mir vs. Velasquez.
One thing is for sure, for all of the Twitterati that have been rallying for resurgent UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt to get the shot against JDS should Overeem be out, you’re going to be disappointed. Hunt is already on the UFC 146 fight card, slated to face Stefan Struve.
“Yes (I’ve seen the Twitter rally for Mark Hunt). They can keep rallying,” said White. “It ain’t going to happen.”
“You don’t just jump right into the title shot. I guarantee you this, if (Hunt) beats Struve, his next fight will be against somebody in the top five that can get him closer to that title shot.”
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