was kicked off voluntarily withdrew from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 146 pay-per-view (PPV) event last Saturday night (May 26, 2012) in Las Vegas, Nevada, embattled Dutch striker Alistair Overeem was the promotion's heavyweight number one contender.
And according to UFC President Dana White, he still is.
That means "Demolition Man," who was expected to challenge Junior dos Santos for the division crown during the Memorial Day Weekend extravaganza, may already be the leading candidate to face the winner of "Cigano's" potential rematch against Cain Velasquez, who is likely to get the chance to regain his title after stepping on "Bigfoot" Silva in "Sin City."
White confirms "The Reem," upon his Octagon return, will regain his division standing during the UFC 146 post-fight press conference:
"He went before the athletic commission and he got his punishment and he's gonna serve his sentence now. When he comes back, he has to apply for a license again and then we'll go from there. Yeah, I mean I think he should (regain his standing), yeah."
That's bad news for Ben Rothwell.
But don't expect to see Overeem any sooner than the promotion's annual year-end show. In fact, there's a chance we may not see him before 2013, based on his recent run-in with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Overeem admitted under oath that he was injecting himself with medication that was (unbeknownst to him) laced with testosterone, which caused him to fail a pre-fight drug test back on March 27.
"The Reem" insists the medication, designed to expedite his recovery from a rib injury, was secretly juiced up and responsible for his 14:1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels.
It still got him benched for nine months from the legal eagles at the NSAC.
Nevertheless, he'll be back at some point later this year or early next year, but do you agree with the decision to let him pick up where he left off? Or should he have to go to the back of the line?