DALLAS TX - FEBRUARY 04: Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem attends The Black Eyed Peas Super Bowl Party presented by Sports Illustrated and Bacardi at Music Hall At Fair Park on February 4 2011 in Dallas Texas. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Bacardi)
It's no secret that Alistair Overeem's removal from UFC 146 was a huge headache for Dana White. Overeem failed a random test and received what amounted to a nine-month suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He is eligible to re-apply in late December and could fight for the UFC as early as the start of 2013. Dana White made it clear he's still not exactly enamored with Overeem after UFC 146 though (transcription via MMA Weekly):
"He lied to me. He sat in front of us, he lied to us, I’m not interested. I don’t have to deal with people I don’t want to deal with and I don’t want to deal with him, Lorenzo will."
But he won't be released, and will likely be fighting again:
"He went before the athletic commission and he got his punishment. He’s going to serve his sentence now and when he comes back, he has to apply for a license again and then we’ll go from there."
One thing that people were very curious about was whether Overeem would just be re-inserted into a title fight once his suspension was up. White stated that Overeem should have to work his way back up again:
"Yeah, I think he should (regain his standing in the division)."
The UFC is likely going to go with a rematch between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title next, which would probably place anywhere from September to November. The pieces fit together for Overeem to meet the winner of that bout upon his return, but it seems like Dana wants Overeem to take another fight first. The top of the heavyweight division should be very interesting for the rest of the year and beyond.