That’s not to say that dos Santos is turning down a fight with Velasquez, or avoiding the fight in any way, shape or form.
No, according to UFC president Dana White, it’s because the UFC’s top heavyweight has his eyes set on a slightly bigger target. Bigger as in six-foot-five former Dream, Strikeforce and K-1 Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem.
White revealed on Saturday night after the UFC on Fox 4 press conference ended that dos Santos has asked to face Overeem next instead of Velasquez because the Dutch striker is “a punk” and he wants to shut him up.
Overeem hasn’t been quiet about his desire to face dos Santos when he’s eligible to get licensed later this year after his ‘suspension’ from the Nevada State Athletic Commission expires in December. (Technically, Overeem was not suspended but his license was denied and he had to agree not to apply for another license for 9 months).
“He can talk all he wants, I know he’s very happy that fight didn’t happen,” Overeem told MMAWeekly.com back in July. “I know he’s afraid to fight me.”
The two heavyweights were originally scheduled to meet as the headline fight at UFC 146 before Overeem tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone that led to his eventual removal from the card, and de facto suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Obviously Overeem’s words struck a nerve with the Brazilian and now dos Santos is gunning for a fight with the Dutchman in the UFC.
The UFC has yet to make a decision regarding the fight, but Dana White had to admit “I like that” when talking about the possibility of dos Santos vs. Overeem happening.
White did also say it would be a tough decision to take the title fight already promised to Cain Velasquez away from him, but dos Santos has made it clear who he’d prefer to fight.
Will dos Santos wait for Overeem to return or will he opt to go ahead with the fight against Velasquez?
That decision will be left up to Dana White and the other UFC brass.