After serving a nine-month suspension, UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem was given a fighting license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) today to face Antonio Silva at UFC 156 next month. Immediately following the his licensure hearing, Overeem provided a statement to the media.
As you know by now, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Alistair Overeem was successfully granted a fighting license today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to compete against Antonio Silva at UFC 156: "Aldo vs. Edgar" on Feb. 2, 2013.
The licensure hearing brought an end to a nine-month process that saw Overeem serve a suspension for having an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio in his system found by a random drug test from the NSAC in April 2012.
The Dutchman is now licensed and cleared to fight, officially confirming his Feb. 2 date with Silva at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Immediately following the hearing, Overeem declined any one-on-one interview, but was able to provide a statement to media members in attendance.
You can watch the statement in the video above (courtesy of The MMA Fight Corner), or read a transcription of what "The Demolition Man" had to say below:
"The case here today I went for license. I'm very happy to inform you guys I got licensed to fight February 2nd, the UFC against ‘Bigfoot' Silva. So yeah, for me it's now back to work, back hitting the gym I'm already basically in shape, just a couple more weeks of grinding it then it's going to be showtime again. Thank you very much."
The UFC 156 bout against Silva will be Overeem's first time competing since a first-round technical knockout of Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 in Dec. 2011.
Should he get by "Bigfoot," it is expected that Overeem will be granted an opportunity to fight newly crowned champion Cain Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight title later this year.
UFC 156: "Aldo vs. Edgar" goes down Feb. 2, 2013 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event headliner will see Jose Aldo put his featherweight strap on the line against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Also on the card will be a light heavyweight affair between Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.