Yesterday, Alistar Overeem declared he was gonna be fighting for the UFC in December. It must have just been wishful thinking on his part, because the dude in charge of dealing with all things Overeem moving forward (Lorenzo Fertitta) said it ain’t so:
The UFC will not book Alistair Overeem for fights in Las Vegas until he reapplies and is granted a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, according to UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta.
Overeem, currently serving a nine-month suspension under the NSAC for a failed drug test in March, caused widespread speculation Monday when he stated on Twitter he would return to the cage in December.
The Dutch heavyweight is eligible to reapply for a license on Dec. 27. If approved, he would technically be available to compete in Las Vegas at the UFC’s annual year-end card, which is expected to take place Dec. 29.
That scenario appears unlikely though, as Fertitta stated he would not promote an Overeem fight until the NSAC formally approves his license application.
“That’s speculation,” Fertitta said in a text to ESPN.com. “It’s in the NSAC’s hands. (The UFC) can’t be presumptuous.”
As much as it made sense for the UFC to cram Overeem onto a card ASAP to make some PPV cash, it also makes sense for them to wait a month or two to make sure there’s no hiccups in re-licensing – or criticism that they’re fast tracking a PED user back into the rotation two days after his suspension ends. What difference does it make if Alistair fights on NYE or in January or February? No skin off the UFC’s back, that’s for sure. And this is just another sign that the UFC recognizes the average fan is getting jaded over the ‘business as usual’ attitude towards guys popping positive and then rolling forward with their careers as if nothing happened.
So bravo to the UFC for making ‘the right choice.’ AKA one that causes less waves for them, at no cost to their bottom line at all.