UPDATED: Alistair Overeem expected to face 'Bigfoot' Silva at UFC 156

Joe Scarnici

Despite being able to even apply for a fighter's license until the end of December, it appears Overeem is already planning his return.

Big news for UFC Heavyweight Alistair Overeem. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Overeem is expected to make his return to the Octagon at UFC 156 on February 2. Of course, the fight would be contingent on Alistair getting relicensed in January. Last spring, The Reem was surprised by an unannounced drug test leading up to his title shot against champion Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146. He failed the test with a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio well above the allowed limit. In the subsequent hearing, the NSAC informed him that he'd be unable to apply for a license before December 27, 2012, one year after his fight with Brock Lesnar at UFC 141.

UFC president Dana White had previously indicated that Overeem could be in line for an immediate title shot upon his return. However, Alistair came out quickly after saying that he'd rather be active than wait for a shot. If this goes through, Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva will welcome him back from his hiatus. Bigfoot is coming off a big win at UFC On FX 5 over the previously undefeated Travis Browne. He stopped Browne in the first round with a big overhand right to gain his first UFC victory.

UFC 156 will happen on Super Bowl weekend at the Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The card will be headline with a Featherweight championship match between Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar.

Update: The UFC has confirmed the match on UFC.com:

Top-ten ranked heavyweight contenders will collide as Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and Alistair “The Reem” Overeem have verbally agreed to fight at UFC 156.

The bout, expected to take place Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas, has been scheduled pending licensing approval of Overeem by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. That decision will be finalized in early 2013.

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