When 2012 ends, Alistair Overeem will have gone an entire calendar year without a fight.
The Dutch striking machine made a successful UFC debut in December 2011 with a dominant knockout victory over former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.
Unfortunately for Overeem his shot at the UFC heavyweight title ended before it began when he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone at a pre-fight drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission at a press conference prior to his bout against Junior dos Santos at UFC 146.
Overeem was removed from the fight, and was effectively suspended until Dec. 27, 2012, when he can re-apply for a fight license in the state of Nevada.
Recently, however, Overeem’s name came up when UFC president Dana White declared that he would be the No. 1 contender in the division the day he returned and would likely face the winner of the upcoming fight at UFC 155 between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez.
For his part, Overeem has stayed quiet regarding the news that he would be fighting for the belt after his suspension is lifted, but his manager has a different view on the news altogether.
“Right now, he’s not even licensed, so the UFC’s hands are tied. The UFC can’t book him a fight until he gets licensed. So right now it’s all talk,” said Overeem’s manager Glenn Robinson of Authentic Sports Management when speaking to MMAWeekly.com.
Assuming Overeem is able to get a fight license in Nevada as soon as the Dec. 27 date passes, there’s still no guarantee he would get to compete for the belt right away. UFC 155 still has to happen, and dos Santos and Velasquez have to face off one more time.
There are no guarantees that either fighter will come away without a scratch that would likely push back another title bout further into 2013.
“Based upon when he gets licensed and it also depends on if the winner of dos Santos and Cain fight comes out unscathed. What if the winner comes out and has an injury and doesn’t want to fight for eight months? So there’s a lot of ‘what ifs,’ so right now we’re just focusing on getting licensed, and once we get licensed then we’ll figure out who we’re going to fight,” Robinson stated.
Generally, UFC champions don’t typically turn around and fight again in only a three or four month range, but it has happened in the past.
Overeem’s goal is to get licensed and make things right with the commission, and then book a fight as soon as possible. If that’s a title fight, so be it, but Overeem just wants to get back to business.
“We’d still rather jump in and get a fight, so we’ll see what happens,” said Robinson.
“He would like to fight as soon as possible after he gets licensed. We’re appreciative that Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta) want him to fight for the title, and we’re thankful for that, but right now the focused is to get licensed.”