Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Alistair Overeem is just one victory from competing for the UFC heavyweight championship, a goal the Dutchman set for himself when he signed with the organization in 2011.
Overeem (36-11, 1 NC) will be granted the opportunity to challenge Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight title later this year with a victory over Antonio Silva at UFC 156: "Aldo vs. Edgar" this Saturday night (Feb. 2, 2013) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the news in a scrum with reporters at Thursday's (Jan. 31, 2013) UFC 156 "Ultimate Media Day" in Las Vegas.
"The Demolition Man" was slated to fight Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight title at UFC 146 in May 2012, but when a random pre-fight drug showed elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels in Overeem's system, the fighter was pulled from the bout and suspended nine months by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
The 32-year-old has not competed since a Dec. 2011 win over Brock Lesnar in his debut with the organization. In the meantime, he has been training with the Blackzilians camp in South Florida, opening himself up to random drug testing over the course of his suspension to ensure he is no longer on the sauce.
Overeem received licensure on Jan. 8, 2013, officially clearing him to re-enter the UFC where his stock has not plummeted too far given the fact a win over Silva will give him a chance to fight for the title.
Regardless of if Overeem delivers a 10-second knockout, a submission or even a dull three-round decision, it appears just a win will put him in position to be the No. 1 contender in the UFC's largest weight class.
UFC 156 will be headlined by a title bout between Featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Also featured on the card will be a Light Heavyweight match up between Rashad Evans and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.