UPDATED: Why is Alistair Overeem Avoiding Fight with Junior dos Santos?

February 12, 2014

dos-santos-vs-overeem-460x270Following a rather lackluster start to his UFC tenure, Alistair Overeem scored his second victory in the Octagon in four attempts when he dominated former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir at UFC 169 on Feb. 1 in New Jersey.

Even by his own account, it was a safe performance that led to a unanimous nod from the judges.

“Usually I always go for the knockout,” Overeem said in his post-fight interview, adding, “but this fight I chose to pace myself a little bit.”

It was in stark contrast to his first UFC victory when he TKO’d now-WWE superstar Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, and company president Dana White was highly critical, calling Overeem’s win over Mir a “crappy performance.”

Overeem called out Lesnar after the fight despite the big man being busy with his professional wrestling career, not MMA. White, however, told UFC Tonight on Wednesday that he had a different fight in mind.

White said that he offered Overeem a five-round main event in Brazil, opposite former UFC champion Junior dos Santos, a man that Overeem has had a beef with almost since the day he arrived in the UFC.

Overeem reportedly shot down the offer, according to the brash UFC boss. He also shot down White’s secondary offer of a three-round co-main event slot on a fight card in Las Vegas.

Again, White didn’t hold back after the former Strikeforce, Dream, and K-1 champion declined the fights.

“He wants nothing to do with dos Santos; he’s literally hiding from him,” White told UFC Tonight reporter Ariel Helwani.

Overeem, who is currently on vacation and was initially unavailable for comment, later told Helwani, “I’m hurt,” he said. “Rib problem. So first [I] need an ETA on recovery time. [It] would be unwise to accept any fight before knowing exactly what’s up. [I] wouldn’t want to pull out of any fight [due to] being unfit, especially an anticipated fight as this one.”

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