UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos finally knows who he will be defending his title against at UFC 146. Up until this point UFC President Dana White had been unusually quiet about this topic, other than asserting the foolishness of his fighters in taking Performance Enhancing Drugs, and how he can't babysit all of them to make sure they don't.
Alistair Overeem was set to challenge for the championship in what would have been one of the biggest matches of the year, until he had a random test sprung on him and his fellow Heavyweight peers at a pre-UFC 146 press conference to hype the event. Overeem's Testosterone to Epitestosterone Ratio came back at 14:1, more than twice the 6:1 ratio Nevada State Athletic Commission allows, and more than 3 times the 4:1 ratio the World Anti Doping Agency -- who will regulate the Olympic Games this Summer -- allow. This is following a conditional license granted to Overeem by NSAC in December when he failed to show up to a scheduled test, and left the country the day before to attend to alleged family affairs in his home country of the Netherlands. All other Heavyweights tested came back within acceptable levels.
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Originally the bout between Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez was said to be still in place, but now according to Dana White via twitter, Frank Mir will replace Alistair Overeem in the UFC Heavyweight Championship title fight.
Taking off to Atlanta!!!! May 26 th is now Mir vs JDS for the HW title in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.— Dana White (@danawhite) April 21, 2012
The delay in announcing any changes to the main event billing opened the UFC up to speculation, with many wondering if they would try to continue the Overeem vs Dos Santos fight under the premise Overeem was without a license at the time of the random test, and despite the conditional license granted to him in December stating he would be random tested additionally as part of the conditional license agreement.
Although waiting so long to make an announcement isn't exactly ideal, the UFC should be applauded for making the right decision in removing Overeem from the card, and for giving Junior dos Santos an official replacement he can now train for. More than anyone else dos Santos suffered with the delay, not knowing if he was still going into a fight with a man he knew would have an unfair hormonal anabolic steroid advantage, or if he was getting a new opponent but being unable to train specifically for that opponent until the UFC had made a decision.
Alistair Overeem's hearing in front of the NSAC is expected to be held next Tuesday, April 24. A replacement opponent for Cain Velasquez has not yet been announced.