In a surprising turn, Alistair Overeem may still get his shot at UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos.
Inside MMA host and former UFC heavyweight titleholder Bas Rutten revealed on Twitter that the May 26 bout could still happen.
Overeem earned his title shot by destroying Brock Lesnar in Las Vegas last December. However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission only granted him a conditional licence for the bout due a delayed drug test. The same day he was notified of the random screening, Overeem flew to Holland to be with his ailing mother. He later travelled to England for testing. The results came back clean.
The terms of his conditional licence meant that Overeem would be subject to random drug screening by the NSAC. Overeem and dos Santos were among six heavyweights who were tested last month while attending a UFC 146 pre-fight press conference in Vegas.
The bout was put in jeopardy when Overeem’s “A” sample showed elevated testosterone levels with a T/E ratio of 14:1. The NSAC limit is 6:1, while the World Anti-Doping Agency’s is 4:1. The average male has a ratio of 1:1.
Though Overeem has not requested that his “B” sample be tested, he has applied for a fighter’s licence for the bout with dos Santos. He is scheduled to appear before the NSAC later this month.
Though nothing is confirmed, there are rumblings that Overeem will apply for a medical exemption for testosterone-replacement therapy (TRT). Should the NSAC grant him the exemption, Overeem would then be eligible for his fighter’s licence and could still face dos Santos.
In the meantime, MMA fans are continuing to rally for Mark Hunt to step in for Overeem. Though his MMA record is only 8-7, the 2001 K-1 world grand prix champion has fought some of the best fighters in the world and is riding an incredible career resurgence.
The UFC obtained Hunt’s contract when it purchased PRIDE Fighting Championships in 2007. The promotion attempted to buy him out, but he refused. The UFC finally balked and agreed to let Hunt fight. He lost his debut to Sean McCorkle at UFC 119 on Sept. 25, 2010, but has since put together an impressive three-fight win streak. His last outing saw him knock out Cheick Kongo at UFC 144 in Tokyo Feb. 26.
HUNT’S BIG FIGHT CREDENTIALS
Though Mark Hunt’s MMA record is only 8-7, the 2001 K-1 world grand prix champion has fought some of the best fighters in the world. Here are some of his most notable opponents.
KO win over Cheick Kongo
Submission loss to Alistair Overeem
Submission loss to Fedor Emelianenko
Submission loss to Josh Barnett
Decision win over Mirko Filipovic
Decision win over Wanderlei Silva
DIAZ BACK IN THE RING
Nick Diaz may be suspended from mixed martial arts, but that doesn’t mean he’s done competing.
Diaz will meet Braulio Estima in a Brazilian jiu jitsu super-fight at the World Jiu-Jitsu Expo on May 12 in Long Beach, Calif. The bout will be contested at 180 pounds.
A second degree BJJ black belt, Estima is as decorated as they come. At the 2009 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championship, he won gold in both the 88-kilogram and Absolute (open weight) divisions. In 2011, he defeated former Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo (Jacare) Souza in a BJJ super-fight.
Diaz is a black belt under Cesar Gracie. Though he has not competed in a BJJ match for two years, he has never been submitted. He was suspended from MMA competition for one year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after testing positive for marijuana metabolites following his controversial unanimous decision loss to Carlos Condit in February.
UFC CALGARY GETS THIAGO ALVES FIGHT
Two more fights have been confirmed for the UFC’s Calgary debut.
Former welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves will meet Yoshihiro Akiyama and Canadian featherweight Antonio Carvalho will face George Roop.
Both Akiyama and Alves are in need of a big win. Akiyama has lost his last four bouts, three of which were at middleweight. In his 170-pound debut, he dropped a lacklustre decision to Jake Shields at UFC 144 in February. Alves was well on his way to victory against Martin Kampmann at UFC on FX 2 last month, but an ill-advised takedown attempt resulted in him getting caught in a stunning guillotine choke.
Carvalho’s UFC debut saw him drop a close unanimous decision to Felipe Arantes in January, while Roop suffered a nasty TKO loss to Cub Swanson in his last outing.
UFC 149 takes place July 21 at the Scotiabank Saddledome and will be headlined by featherweight champion Jose Aldo. An opponent has yet to be named.