Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos and former K-1 kickboxing champion Alistair Overeem were set to collide inside the Octagon on two separate occasions.
But thanks to "Reem's" case of elevated testosterone levels prior to UFC 146 and an untimely injury a few weeks before UFC 160, the much-anticipated showdown between two of the best big men in all of mixed martial arts (MMA) never came to be.
And it never will, according to "Cigano."
That's because the Brazilian brawler is no longer interested in trading blows with the striking Dutchman after two missed opportunities. Of course, should UFC matchmakers decide to match them up yet again, Junior won't decline, but he'd rather not spend his time on "limited" fighters.
He explains to Fighters Only:
"'Bigfoot' put him in his place. I no longer feel the wish to face him but I fight whomever the UFC puts in front of me. I will train aiming that guy and to be very well prepared to win. The limited fighters, guys who don't believe in themselves, who don't dedicate to the training and don't take it seriously are the ones who make it to call for attention. They do it to hype themselves. It's not that he [Overeem] is bad. He is an excellent fighter and he has great accomplishments in his career. You see (Chael) Sonnen making controversial statements as well but I'm not saying anything bad about him. Have you seen Sonnen? He is an excellent athlete... but he is better as a commentator."
Antonio Silva, "Cigano's" friend and former training partner, manhandled Overeem at UFC 156 earlier this year in Las Vegas, Nevada, putting an end to his 11-fight win streak and squashing his title hopes in the process with a brutal third round knockout.
Alistair will return to the cage at UFC on FOX Sports 1 on August 28, 2013 when he takes on Travis Browne at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. As for Junior, he'll get one more chance to regain top status in 265-pound division when he meets current champion Cain Velasquez in the main event of UFC 166 this October.
Pending the outcome of both of those fights, it wouldn't be too farfetched to believe Joe Silva and Co. would attempt to book the bout between the two talented strikers one more time.
Third time's a charm?