When UFC president Dana White made the announcement that the No. 1 contender's match between former champions Cain Velasquez and Frank Mir would still happen at UFC 146, many wondered why Mir wasn't the choice to face Junior Dos Santos in the main event with Alistair Overeem's status still up in the air after a failed drug test.
Overeem tested positive for a high testosterone to epitestosterone ratio. He is currently awaiting a hearing in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 24 to find out if he will be licensed for the UFC 146 card or not.
And that's where the story takes an interesting twist.
While most have already eliminated Overeem from the UFC 146 main event, technically he's not out yet, so nobody has been contacted as a potential replacement, and likely won't be until after the April 24 hearing.
“The latest is the following: I think if you notice the (Cris) Cyborg thing, she was never stripped of her title until they go in front of the commission and get their cases heard and stuff, and now her title's been officially stripped. The same thing happens with things of this nature,” Frank Mir's manager, Malki Kawa, explained when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
“Overeem's not officially out yet until the Nevada State Athletic Commission decides.”
As Kawa explains it, should Overeem be exonerated of any wrongdoing, his rightful place will still be in the UFC 146 main event. Until that point, he doesn't believe the UFC will make any changes to the upcoming title fight with Junior dos Santos.
“So let's just say they were to say ‘you're out,' we're going to put Frank Mir in. I think there's a bout agreement in place right now between Overeem and Junior dos Santos, and I think legally if he gets licensed, he has an opportunity to take action or what would happen is they would say ‘hey Frank Mir you're going to JDS (Junior dos Santos)' and the 24th comes, which is two weeks away, and then they turn around and say ‘Overeem here's your license.' Well now Frank guess what you're going back to fight Cain (Velasquez) and Overeem you go fight JDS,” said Kawa.
“So to avoid confusion, what I think is happening is they're going to wait for the decision, if Overeem gets licensed, everything goes on as planned. If Overeem doesn't get licensed, then you can bet your house there's going to be a replacement. I tend to think that it will be Frank Mir, but who knows? No one has said to me it's going to be Frank Mir for sure. I asked, I've been pushing, I pushed, I've been trying to get a commitment from somebody, please just tell me it will be Frank Mir, but I think they're being tight lipped about this one.”
Should Overeem not get licensed by the powers that be in Nevada, the UFC will soon turn to alternatives to face the heavyweight champion on May 26 in Las Vegas.
Some fans have been pushing for former K-1 fighter Mark Hunt, who is currently also slated to fight on the UFC 146 fight card against Stefan Struve, to get the title shot, most believe if the call is made to anyone it will be to Frank Mir.
A former UFC heavyweight champion, Mir has won his last three fights in a row including a devastating submission victory over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 140 last December.
If Overeem is not able to get licensed for UFC 146, Kawa believes that his client will be the first person on Joe Silva's speed dial to get the fight.
“I think it will be Frank Mir. I don't know anyone else that can get it,” Kawa explained. “I think Frank Mir will end up getting the shot in the event that Overeem can't get licensed.”