Nothing personal, just business.
Two of the biggest fighters in the biggest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) weight class appear to be on a collision course: Alistair Overeem is expected to face Antonio Silva at UFC 156, which is scheduled to take place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Feb. 2, 2013.
The bout would very likely determine the No. 1 contender in the heavyweight division and the next challenger to challenge the winner of Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez, who meet for "Cigano's" division title just a few weeks prior in the main event of UFC 155 on Dec. 29, 2012.
UFC officials confirmed the bout -- re-tweeting a Las Vegas Review-Journal breaking news report -- for its annual Super Bowl weekend extravaganza, which airs live on pay-per-view (PPV) in the United States and Canada.
Overeem (36-11, 1 NC) is currently serving a suspension handed down from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) stemming from a positive test for elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels earlier this year. Before the positive test, Overeem was slated to fight dos Santos for the heavyweight title at UFC 146 in May.
The 32-year-old is eligible to apply for licensure once the suspension is complete on Dec. 27, 2012. In other words, the promotion is beginning to tout the match up, even though Overeem is not technically cleared to compete in "Sin City" at this time.
"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."
The hulking Dutchman has not competed since a Dec. 2011 win over Brock Lesnar in his debut with the organization. In the meantime, he has been training in South Florida for his eventual return, opening himself up to random drug testing to ensure he is no longer on the sauce.
Silva (17-4) last fought this past October with a second-round technical knockout of Travis Browne at UFC on FX 5. The victory was Silva's in about one year and the first with the organization after being mauled by Cain Velasquez in his debut last May.
The Brazilian was once at the same training camp as Overeem -- the Blackzilians in Florida -- but left the camp as he felt he was on a "collision course" with "The Demolition Man." It seems that was in fact the right call, as that collision appears closer to becoming a reality.
UFC 156 will be headlined by a title bout between Featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Also featured on the card will be a Light Heavyweight mash up between Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, as well as a potential showdown between Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida.
For more on UFC 156 be sure to check out our complete event archive right here.