Last weekend following the action at UFC on Fox 4, UFC President Dana White revealed the news that heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos has requested to face Alistair Overeem next instead of Cain Velasquez.
Velasquez was the de facto No. 1 contender after his win at UFC 146, and originally he was rumored to face the man that took the UFC heavyweight title from him at UFC 152 in Toronto this September.
Delays kept happening and the fight never materialized, but then it was revealed that dos Santos had asked to face Overeem instead because he was a “punk” and had been running his mouth too much of late.
Overeem responded on Tuesday night on UFC Tonight, expressing his belief is that dos Santos really doesn't want the fight to happen in the first place.
“I think he’s afraid to fight me. He was happy that the last fight on May 26 didn’t happen against us. I approached him at the UFC Fighter Summit in Vegas and said, let’s do it. Let’s prove something to the world and lets fight. Then he suddenly acted like he didn’t understand English and how he wants to fight Cain first,” Overeem revealed.
“The fact of the matter is I’m the number one heavyweight in the world and if he wants to be the number one heavyweight, he has to come through me.”
Overeem is currently sidelined until at least the end of December dealing with a suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and at that time he can re-apply for a fight license to compete inside the Octagon. Until that time, dos Santos' wish will fall on deaf ears because the fight can't even be scheduled.
Overeem is confident when the time comes to get his license back, it won't be an issue, but that can't happen until after Dec. 27 when his suspension comes to an end.
“My manager and I have a good relationship with the (Nevada State Athletic) Commission and we’re taking all steps necessary and following all the rules and I don’t expect any problems to get my license from the commission when the time comes,” commented Overeem.
From his vantage point, Overeem says dos Santos' words to the UFC mean very little until the bout agreements are issued and the fight is offered. If Dana White does opt to make that fight, however, it won't take long for Overeem to respond.
“First he wants to fight Cain and now me. Talk all you want. Come into the Octagon. I will immediately say yes. Give me and the fans what they want. But he’s expecting that fight not to happen. I would welcome that fight and want it to happen. I would say yes every time to that fight,” said Overeem.
There's no doubt that Overeem wants the fight to happen, so he's sending a message to the UFC heavyweight champion and hoping the bout finally gets made.
“Junior, give me and the fans and the UFC what they want. You’ve already fought Cain. That would just be another win. But a win over me would give you the number one spot,” said Overeem.
“Without a win over me, they’ll always question your championship. So bring it to the table my friend.”
- UFC heavyweight champion
- Junior dos Santos