The rumor mill continues to churn regarding Alistair Overeem’s participation in UFC 141.
In case you missed it, Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole tweeted Saturday night that something is going on with Overeem and he could be pulled from the UFC 141 main event. Shortly thereafter, ESPN’s Josh Gross discovered that Overeem is on the agenda for today’s NSAC meeting. The agenda merely states that Overeem is requesting a license to fight, however Gross is hearing there might be more to it, possibly related to a pre-fight drug test. Dana White dismissed the rumors as crazy talk when asked about it at the UFC 140 post-fight press conference, but the rumors still persist.
As we stand now, no one really knows what’s going on other than Overeem is on the NSAC’s agenda today and the meeting starts at 6pm ET/3pm PT. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer believes the situation (whatever it may be) will be addressed then.
Regarding the Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem fight, there are a lot of rumors around. Here is what we know. This will likely be cleared up on Monday as Overeem is scheduled to apply for his license before the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Usually fighters licenses are rubber stamped unless there is an extenuating circumstance. People have noted Overeem, Keith Jardine and Vladimir Matyushenko all have license hearings on Monday, but in the case of the latter two, it is standard procedure for fighters over 35 to take more extensive medical tests and the process for granting the license isn’t rubber stamped. Overeem’s name on the list means there is a reason he needs to be there that is not specified, and Overeem is not over 35 years old.
Brock Lesnar as of last night was not told Overeem is out of the fight, nor as of last night had he been called about a potential fight with Frank Mir. Dana White denied Overeem was injured when asked and also that anything has changed regarding the fight. There is nothing going around about an injury that we’ve heard to begin with. Overeem left Las Vegas, where he had been training, to return to Holland. He said in his yahoo.com blog that it was because his mother had cancer. Regarding a steroid test, we’ve been able to confirm that Lesnar was asked to take a test a few weeks back and did. It is usual practice in Nevada if they are going to do a random unannounced pre-fight test of a major main event, they will test both fighters.
Several major MMA reporters including Kevin Iole and Josh Gross have hinted something is amiss and there were strong rumors last night that Mir would face Lesnar, even though White denied them. If it regards a pending hearing that hasn’t happened, while behind the scenes White would no doubt be preparing for any outcome, he has to publicly say the fight is on, because right now, the fight is on. Mir said he was willing to take the fight. Mir was rocked in the fight, even though he won, and we’re only three weeks away. Gross really didn’t say anything more than what we wrote, that Overeem’s license will be discussed at Monday’s hearing which is factual as it is listed on the minutes of the meeting.
I’m not even going to begin to speculate about what’s going on, but hopefully it’s just a false alarm and much ado about nothing. We’ll find out soon enough.