Another day, another step in the saga of UFC 146. The event, which was originally to feature a main event UFC heavyweight championship bout between Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem, was derailed when Overeem tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. It was expected that Overeem, who last fought at UFC 141 on a "conditional license" for having not submitted a random pre-fight urine sample until almost a month after it was requested, would simply be removed from the card. That has not yet been the case with UFC president Dana White saying that he'll let due process run its course.
Related: Overeem Tests Positive For Elevated Testosterone Levels | Dana Responds To Overeem's Failed Drug Test | Is A Million Dollar Program The Solution For The UFC's PED Problem? | Dana White Doesn't Want To Talk About Alistair Overeem, Letting Due Process Run Its Course
Overeem's hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission is a week from today (set for April 24) and it now appears that they have their defense for the miserable test failure in place (via Caged Insider):
"I spoke with Glenn Robinson, manager of Overeem and he says he is very respectful and is hopeful that he will be granted his license and the entire team is very confident that he will be facing Junior dos Santos come May 26th" said Rice. "Now Robinson wanted to make it very clear that despite other reports, Overeem did not test high for testosterone, but rather his testosterone to epitestosterone was off and he has a reasonable explanation to why that is, which he will present to the commission next Tuesday."
This is likely the first step in confirming that they're going to use the testosterone replacement therapy defense.
Edit by Brent Brookhouse: As Ron Kruck pointed out, it was he, not Kenny Rice who said the above quote.
Look, I've certainly made my thoughts on the Overeem situation well known. I think that the idea that he learned after the Brock Lesnar fight (where he did not request a TRT exemption) that he is at some sort of disadvantage due to low testosterone is ludicrous. I also think it probably wouldn't have been the worst idea in the world for Overeem, assuming he really was prescribed the use of testosterone, to make it known publicly given the sheer amount of scrutiny on him over the past few years and his current status with the NSAC.
But rather than rehash all that yet again. Here's the truth.
I fully expect the NSAC to license Overeem.
Nevada is proving to be just as toothless as any other commission as of late. The dog and pony show that was dragging Victor Ortiz in and taking him to task before only awarding him a conditional license (that everyone knew he would get all along) for saying in an interview that he wanted to break Floyd Mayweather's nose when he headbutted him was a laughable embarrassment. They brought Floyd Mayweather in to basically...bring Floyd Mayweather in and grant yet another conditional license as Floyd fawned over his own generosity toward others (he makes donations and takes kids to school while feeding the hungry!). The NSAC's big stance on Floyd's conditional license? He had to promise to show up for jail on June 1 as he was sentenced to.
Just yesterday I talked to NSAC executive director Keith Kizer about this past weekend's boxing match between Brandon Rios and Richard Abril. The night of the fight, the fact that the decision went to Rios had people violently upset. Almost every headline for the results contained words like "robbery" "theft" and "disgrace." Dan Rafael of ESPN tweeted that he wanted to cut his wrists because the scoring was so bad, Kevin Iole of Yahoo tweeted that it was a "total complete robbery" and "absolute bull." Kizer's response to my questioning if they would reprimand judges for what seemed to be universally accepted as a travesty was little more than "nope, there was no problem." And it only took a few days before the boxing media was more than willing to start excusing what they had just called inexcusable.
Now, I like Keith Kizer. He's a genuinely nice guy and my interaction with him has always been pleasant. But I get the sense that most of what happens in Nevada happens for the purpose of them getting to put on a show.
They went through a whole hearing with Overeem before UFC 141, talked tough and then took Overeem and his assistant's word at every turn. They didn't make Alistair verify anything he said. The entire situation basically hinged on when he purchased his plane ticket to return to Holland but they never asked to see proof of the date of purchase. It felt like they simply waited until they felt that they'd gotten in enough face time with the media to grant him his conditional license.
I have a sneaking suspicion that this hearing will see a lot of tough talk and then yet another conditional license given where Overeem is told he's going to have to test a few times before the fight and a few times after. And just like this time, it won't matter if he fails.