We’re still three months out from UFC 156, but the fight card is already coming together. And according to a report by the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Adam Hill, the Super Bowl weekend event may land Alistair Overeem’s return bout.
Overeem’s name is being mentioned alongside Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva for a heavyweight showdown on Feb. 2 at UFC 156.
Overeem has been sitting on the sidelines serving out a nine-month suspension due to an out-of-competition drug test in March in Nevada. His drug test results displayed an elevated ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone.
The Dutch fighter is eligible to re-apply for a license in the state on Dec. 27, but according to Hill’s report, Overeem must appear before the Nevada Athletic Commission to do so. The soonest that would happen is early to mid-January, whenever the NAC holds its regularly scheduled meeting.
As long as Overeem fulfills all of the demands of the commission, he is likely to get relicensed, but that will not be determined until the meeting.
That would leave less than a month until the scheduled UFC 156 date, so whether or not the UFC is willing to take the risk that he doesn’t get licensed could be a factor.
Overeem (36-11) last fought on Dec. 30 of 2011, when he knocked Brock Lesnar into retirement at UFC 141. He was supposed to have returned to challenge Junior dos Santos for the UFC heavyweight title in May of this year, but that bout was derailed by the drug test and suspension.
Silva (17-4) was propelled into the spotlight when he defeated Fedor Emelianenko in February of 2011. He then lost back-to-back bouts to Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez before returning to the winner’s circle at UFC on FX 5 in October. He scored a TKO victory over Travis Browne at UFC on FX 5, putting him on track for the fight against Overeem.
If Overeem vs. Silva comes to fruition at UFC 156, it will be part of a fight card that features UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo defending against Frankie Edgar, as well as a light heavyweight bout between former champion Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
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