The “Alistair Overeem Dilemma”
For years there were whispers of steroids, but no proof. His tests either came back clean, or he was fighting for a promotion in a country that doesn’t require testing. He went from a lean lightweight to a mammoth-sized heavyweight, not even overshadowed by Brock Lesnar. Overeem has claimed that eating horse meat is responsible for his size. If true, sign me up.
However, Alistair Overeem finds himself on the receiving end of a nine-month suspension handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone (fourteen times higher than the normal amount in a human male). The question to be answered – where will Alistair’s fate lie within the ZUFFA organization once his suspension is up?
Dana White has never been silent when it comes to his fighters and the use of illegal substances. One infraction and you can find yourself in the unemployment line, and there are many fighters who have been subjected to this (i.e. Nate Marquardt, Kimo Leopoldo, Sean Sherk, Hermes Franca, etc…). Dana White has already clearly stated his position on the Overeem dilemma;
“He went before the athletic commission and he got his punishment and he’s gonna serve his sentence now,”
– Dana White.
White also claimed in a recent press conference that he would no longer be handling any affairs with Overeem, and that Lorenzo Fertitta would be dealing directly with the heavyweight and his management. So, as all MMA fans know, if you put-off Dana White your career can come to a screeching halt. MMA fans also know, however, that Dana is also notorious for softening his stance.
“When he comes back, he has to apply for a license again and then we’ll go from there. Yeah, I mean I think he should (remain a top contender), yeah.”
Already we can see the ice melting. Could Overeem be sent down to the “minors” (aka Strikeforce) as punishment upon his return? Not likely. ZUFFA is going to fold the heavyweight division in Strikeforce over the next year or two, mark my words. There would be no point sending Overeem down to the minors for a year or so and waste what few years or solid fighting he has left.
With all this in mind, will Overeem be back in the UFC? My guess is a definitive “yes”. Never has White claimed he will be banned from the UFC. Overeem is still a legitimate top-five competitor, and White would hate to lose any depth in one of the hottest divisions in the UFC right now. Conveniently, Overeem’s suspension is up on December 27th, just in time for the end of the stacked New Years card. It should also coincide nicely with the amount of time needed for the winner of Dos Santos v. Velaszquez to recover and prepare. In the meantime, I will sit and patiently wait to see Overeem’s return to the UFC… as it is all but assured.
… and that is the last word.
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