Junior dos Santos (17-3) and Alistair Overeem (39-14, 1 NC) are hoping that the third time is a charm, as the UFC on Tuesday announced that the heavyweights will hold the UFC on FOX 17 co-main event slot on Dec. 19 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Fla.
The two heavyweight sluggers have been scheduled to meet in the Octagon twice before. Both times, Overeem was forced out of the fight.
Their UFC 146 battle for dos Santos’ heavyweight belt was nixed when Overeem failed an out-of-competition drug test and the Nevada Athletic Commission refused to license him. Dos Santos would go on to defend the belt against Frank Mir.
The second attempt to pair dos Santos and Overeem, after dos Santos had lost the belt to Cain Velasquez, was a year later at UFC 160, but Overeem fell out of the bout due to injury. The former champ went on to knock out Mark Hunt on that card.
It will have been a year since dos Santos last fought when UFC on FOX 17 rolls around. He last set foot in the Octagon at UFC on FOX 13 in December, when he won a unanimous decision over Stipe Miocic in the night’s main event.
Overeem last fought in March of this year, winning a unanimous decision over Roy Nelson, which followed a knockout of Stefan Struve on the UFC on FOX 13 card.
UFC on FOX 17 is headlined by a lightweight title fight between current champion Rafael dos Anjos and challenger Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Their bout is a rematch of their fight in 2013, where dos Anjos won a unanimous decision over Cerrone.