Alistair Overeem Still Calling for Grudge Match with Junior Dos Santos


Alistair Overeem Still Calling for Grudge Match with Junior Dos Santos

Former Strikeforce and K-1 champion Alistair Overeem still wants a piece of former UFC heavyweight titleholder Junior dos Santos, even though his next opponent is already booked. 

The Reem briefly mentioned his desire to square off with the Brazilian power puncher when he appeared on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, per Luke Thomas of MMA Fighting

"I'm focused and I want to really fight," Overeem said. "I'm very optimistic [a bout with dos Santos] is going to come and I want it to come. I could see that fight happening right after this fight, I'd like to fight with Junior."

Recently snapping a two-fight losing streak with a dominant win over Frank Mir at UFC 169 in February, The Demolition Man was supposed to battle JDS for the heavyweight strap at UFC 146 in May 2012. 

However, that bout never came to fruition after the new addition to the Greg Jackson's MMA team failed a drug test for elevated levels of testosterone, per MMA Junkie

Coincidentally, he ended up being replaced by Mir, who lost the championship bout when he was TKO'ed in the second round. 

The two were finally going to settle their differences one year later at UFC 160, but again the matchup wasn't meant to be when Overeem withdrew from the matchup due to an undisclosed injury, per MMA Fighting

After Overeem turned down two separate possible locations and circumstances to fight Dos Santos earlier this year, UFC President Dana White said the hulking heavyweight was clearly ducking his Brazilian counterpart, per Marc Raimondi of Fox Sports

There is a slight possibility Overeem vs. Dos Santos could occur before the end of the year. Overeem is set to meet Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 50 on September 5, while JDS awaits a matchup since losing a title fight against Cain Velasquez at UFC 166 in October. 

Theoretically, that could set up Reem vs. JDS at the UFC's year-end pay-per-view in December, but that would largely hinge on what happens when Overeem faces Rothwell. 

At this current juncture, is Overeem vs. Dos Santos still a premier heavyweight matchup that the fans want to see sooner than later?

John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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