Photo of Alistair Overeem by Mark J. Rebilas via US PRESSWIRE
"The Reem" was denied a fight license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), after a test revealed the former Strikeforce and K-1 champion registered a ridiculous 14:1 testosterone to epitestosterone (T/E) ratio.
The ruling left Overeem with the inability to apply for a license to fight again until December of this year (2012). There's been some confusion over how soon Overeem will be able to get back into the cage.
Luckily, "The Demolition Man" was on hand to clear some things up, when he sat down with "UFC Tonight." The first issue he wanted to respond to was his drawn out silence, when the results of his test were first announced.
According to Overeem (video after the jump), he and his management just wanted to wait until all the information had been properly sorted out:
"Well, I'm back. The question is, 'Why was I quiet?' Well, at first, the positive test results -- I didn't even know why that was, and I don't want to talk about something that I don't know about. So basically, what we did was, he sat back, we hung back, we researched the whole topic, we checked where it came from, because it came as a surprise to me, as to everybody, and by the time that I researched it, the team researched it, out strategy was we were just gonna explain our situation in front of the commission. If you're gonna answer all the questions that come from the media, that's not gonna solve the situation, especially if you don't even know what you're talking about. I didn't think that was the best thing to do. So, we took the strategy to research, stay quiet, and when we did have the research done, we went in front of the commission, and we explained our side of the story."
So, what was the deal with Overeem's elevated testosterone levels, anyway? We know it had something to do with a medication he took. We know that Overeem was supposed to be unaware of what was going in his body and that it would cause problems with his test.
Surely, after all this time, Overeem has a better and more concise answer, right?
Not so much.
"Well, like I explained to the commission, the spike was due to medication that I received from a licensed doctor to treat an injury. This caused a spike in my T:E ratio, and -- yeah, I did it. I took responsibility for it. I stepped away from the title fight. Now, I'm slowly building up the confidence with the commission by doing random tests, monthly tests, to show that I am a clean fighter. This way, I can prove that I am legit, and be headed back into Vegas."
Since the debacle with Overeem's levels and his being forced off the UFC 146 main event opposite Junior dos Santos, UFC President Dana White has been less than complimentary toward the horse meat eating 265-pounder.
Overeem hasn't talked to his boss since it all went down, but he's intent on getting his confidence back, however long it takes:
"No, I've not spoken to Dana personally. But, Dana's a busy man. He's got a company to run, and that he has to take care of. Basically, I respect Dana. I'm gonna convince Dana, through my actions, that I am a legit fighter and, yeah, do the random tests."
With all the heat mixed martial arts (MMA) has taken in the last year, regarding problems with performance enhancing drugs (PED), it would be disastrous if Overeem were to come back and then fail another test.
It can't happen, and according to Overeem, it won't:
"Since I've been with ASM (Authentic Sports Management), we have a far better medical staff and advisers that advised me during these procedures. Back in Holland, we didn't have all that. ASM has assisted me greatly, and I'm very sure that this situation cannot happen again."
Understandably, Overeem has taken a bit of a beating in the press for his indiscretions, but that doesn't concern him. He fights for his fans and loyal supporters, and that's who he uses as motivation as he continues down the comeback trail:
"I don't really pay that much attention to the media. I just don't. Because if you pay attention the media, usually, it's bad news anyway, so I just don't read that. I'm focused more on training and the stuff I need to do. My management team, there's always other stuff going on in the background, we've been very busy the last couple of months, so I focus more on that, mainly. I know I have a lot of support. I'd like to take the opportunity to thank all my fans, who voice that support. I've got messages, e-mails, tweets from people all over the world, that they wanna see me back in there. For you guys, I'm working hard every day. Every day, except Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is my junk day. When I get back in there, hopefully in December, hopefully for the title, but it's up to the gentlemen in the UFC to decide that, I'm gonna show the world that I'm number one."
Overeem continued to voice his belief that he will be able to be licensed as soon as the nine months expires (which will occur on December 27):
"The commission told me that it shouldn't be a problem for me to get licensed, when my suspension -- well, I'm not even suspended -- but when the nine months is finished. So, I'm pretty confident that I'm gonna get licensed, and then we'll go from there."
So, who will the former kickboxing champion get to square off against when he finally does return to action? He knows it's not totally up to him, but he hopes it will be against Junior dos Santos for the title:
"For me, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter to me who I fight. i wanna fight for the title. The UFC title is my goal. Then, I'll have all the titles in the world. So, whoever has the title. I'm hoping dos Santos, cuz I think he'd make an excellent fight, and I think the fans wanna see that fight, too."
But would it really be fair for Overeem to move to the head of the line, after sitting out for nine months? It depends on who you ask, but if you ask him, he sees no problem with it at all:
"Well, of course I think I deserve that. In my mind, I am the number one. But, it's not for me to decide. The gentlemen at the UFC are gonna have a brainstorm about that. It's also about injuries. Maybe somebody's injured, then it's not possible. So, of course I think I deserve that title shot. Of course I think I'm the number one. But, it's not for me to decide."
Is he right? After Alistair Overeem does his time, will he be a deserving number one contender? Or should he have to earn the shot with a quality win or two?