Unless you've been living under a rock, then you are aware that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Alistair Overeem was removed from his title fight against Junior dos Santos at UFC 146 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 26, 2012, because he flunked a surprise drug test.
"The Reem" met with the Nevada Athletic State Commission (NSAC) this afternoon to make his case for the reason his testosterone levels were more than twice the allowable limit. His argument, which was that he unknowingly injected himself with prescribed anti-inflammatory that contained testosterone, wasn't enough to sway the commission.
In fact, at the conclusion of the marathon hearing, the NSAC declined to grant him a license to fight in Nevada for a period of nine months. Either way, UFC President Dana White had already acted to save the card by moving Frank Mir into Overeem's slot to take on "Cigano" on Memorial Day weekend.
Mir appeared on FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight" this evening to discuss how he feels about Overeem and his recent shortcomings. According to Mir, we should all just let bygones be bygones:
"I believe so. I think this is the first time that he's ever come up positive at tests, as far as I'm aware of. It seems like he had a viable explanation for what happened. Everybody makes mistakes. We all do things that we're not proud of. We've all made mistakes professionally or in our personal life that are not our greatest moments in life. To sit there and ostracize somebody and never allow them to redeem themselves, I think would be very against humanity and our overall impression that I try to carry as a person. Everybody deserves opportunities. You know, he goes out there and he follows all the stringent testing the athletic commission is probably gonna put ahead of him and all the hoops he's gonna have to jump through. As long as he does those things, then yeah, I'll see him back in there. He's a fierce competitor. We've seen what he did with Brock (Lesnar). I'd hate to lose him and not have him in the Octagon or as a competitor in the heavyweight division, due to something outside the Octagon."
"The Reem" may indeed get a second chance, at some point. But for now, his loss is Mir's gain. During the interview, Mir continued to reiterate that he actually believes he's been given an easier fight in dos Santos, than that of his previous opponent, Cain Velasquez:
"I was extremely happy. It was phenomenal opportunity, earlier than I expected. I thought that I'd have to go through Cain (Velasquez) first. Being given this opportunity right now, I just feel ecstatic. Everything it means to me and my family, it's been nothing but a positive thing. You know, some of the things do adjust. As far as, you know, their mindsets. In reality, dos Santos is a much better boxer. Obviously, he's probably the best boxer in the division. But that's all he really comes at you with is just the hands. Cain also poses a lot of problems. I also think Cain's a very decent boxer himself. His one mark on him was in his last fight. He got caught by dos Santos, and everybody seems to have a real short memory. They forget about all the other knockouts and all the other things he's done on his feet, prior to that fight. But at the same time, when you're fighting with Cain, while you're worrying about getting kicked and punched, he can shoot and take you down. So, dos Santos is more of a single threat, even though that single threat is much larger itself, but he doesn't have the multiple areas of offense that Velasquez has. As far as the five rounds, the reality is, if I had not been preapring for Cain, it'd probably be a lot more difficult to step it up. The fact is, I've been preparing for a guy who's known for having a huge motor. Velasquez, if there's anything you wanna say about him, it's that his cardio is freakish. So to prepare for that, basically, I've been preparing for a five-round fight anyway."
In his last bout, Mir not only submitted, but, in grotesque fashion, brutally broke the arm of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, a man who is somewhat of a mentor to dos Santos.
Mir said he believes that scenario will be on dos Santos' mind, but he believes the champion's real motivation will be to defend his belt and prove just how great a fighter he is:
"I'm sure it's something that he thinks about, but for the most part, no. Dos Santos seems to be a pretty driven and focused individual. I can't imagine that he has outside sources that are focusing him in that manner where he's trying to avenge his master. There's not gonna be a theme on the night of the 26th. I think he wants to go out there and defend his title and prove that he's the best in the world. I think that's gonna be more or less a factor that I have to deal with, moreso than what I did to a former trainer or coach. I do think though that if it hits the ground, that has to weigh in his head a little bit. The guy who he's rolled around with who's far more superior to him in jiu-jitsu is a guy that I submitted last."
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