Photo of Alistair Overeem by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com
UFC President Dana White didn't rule out cutting Alistair Overeem after he was suspended for nine months for using performance-enhancing drugs, forcing a significant UFC 146 fight card reshuffle this summer. His tune appeared to quickly change after a conversation with "Demolition Man," which is apparently a rarity.
"I never really dealt with Dana. Just hello and goodbye, we never really spoke really. Of course there's a respect from my side and his side, a mutual respect but when this happened, the show has to go on. The show didn't go on and I took responsibility for it but we didn't speak. I was in Vegas, I was in a meeting at the UFC headquarters and I actually took the time to wait for him to finish with his business. I stepped into his office and took responsibility and I said it was my fault. I think for him hearing that directly out of my mouth and by looking each other in the eyes that was good, good for the relationship. That's what I would like to hear if my employees messed up, I would like to hear directly from them. I just told him that I messed up, the show has to go on, it didn't, I take responsibility, these are the steps that I've taken, these are the steps I'm going to take and he appreciated that. Immediately after I noticed a difference in his tone so I think that was the right thing to do."
-- In less than one month, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White went from being hot and bothered to cool and calm in regard to Alistair Overeem. Now, Overeem reveals to ESPN 1100 the possible reason for White's about-face. Overeem "lied" to White about the outcome of a surprise drug test, assuring the fight boss that he had nothing to worry about even though the actual results would prove otherwise. "Demolition Man" plead his case before the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), weaving a whacky web that included testosterone, anti-inflammatory injections and a male performance-enhancement doctor. He was ultimately praised by the NSAC during a hearing on the matter, but was still suspended for nine months. The former K-1 / Strikeforce champion then faced the MMA music, sticking around "Sin City" to apologize to White and accept responsibility for marring the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's all-Heavyweight UFC 146 pay-per-view (PPV) main card. That brief conversation apparently left an impression with White, who shortly thereafter changed his tune, saying that Overeem won't lose his spot as the top division contender upon his return to the Octagon. Less, in this case, is apparently more. Overeem won't get an instant title shot upon his return, but a win over Antonio Silva at UFC 156 on Super Bowl weekend 2013 -- pending the NSAC's approval to re-license him to compete in Las Vegas -- will be another big step in the right direction for the dominant Dutchman. Who, quite clearly, has a way with his fists ... and words.