When Alistair Overeem was popped for for an elevated T/E ratio after a surprise drug screening, it threw his scheduled fight against Junior dos Santos at UFC 146 on May 26, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, into question.
But while UFC President Dana White was extremely pissed off at the situation just as soon as he was made aware of it, he remained remarkably quiet regarding the entire ordeal. In fact, he frequently told reporters he wouldn't comment on anything that has to do with "The Reem."
Granted, he admitted it was because he's been so pissed he knows he would blow his top and say things he can't take back, but this isn't the Dana White we've all come to know.
The original plan, as originally reported, was the powers that be would wait until Overeem had his day in court, which is scheduled for April 24 when he goes in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to offer his defense. If the NSAC is satisfied with his explanation, he'll be granted a license. If they're not, he won't even be able to apply for one again for an entire calendar year.
If that seems like a ton of risk on Overeem's part, that's because it's exactly that. And it would have been the same for UFC if they were to wait for the outcome of this hearing.
Then, out of nowhere it seemed, White went on Twitter and announced that Overeem was officially out of the fight and Frank Mir would be stepping in to take his place. This wasn't an unexpected move; to the contrary, it was what everyone was waiting for. The surprise is the how and the when of the announcement.
"We were right up on deadlines with a lot of things we need to do to promote a pay-per-view," he said. "And I'm not very optimistic on (Overeem's hearing) on Tuesday."
By "deadlines" it makes sense to think that UFC 145 was it. That's because the promotion ran ads during the pay-per-view event, as they usually do, to promote the next major show on the schedule.
It's just too bad Overeem's hearing was scheduled for three days after.
If there was any measure of confidence that "Demolition Man" would get licensed on that day, perhaps the UFC could have gone ahead with promoting the event as planned. But there's obviously not, as White stated, and if things go south, Overeem is out of the next year.
And maybe out of the UFC altogether.
Can anyone make a case for why White shouldn't have pulled the trigger on taking Overeem out of the UFC 146 main event? Anyone?