Top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight contenders, Alistair Overeem (No. 3) and Mark Hunt (No. 7), will potentially collide in a rematch more than eight years in the making at UFC 209, which will take place inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 4, 2017.
FOXSports.com.au first announced the possible showdown, which would mark the second time the two decorated K-1 kickboxing Grand Prix winners will do the mixed martial arts (MMA) format after “Demolition Man” won their initial encounter via first round submission (Americana) at DREAM 5 back in July 2008.
Overeem most recently competed for the 265-pound division title, losing to reigning champion, Stipe Miocic, via first round knockout in the main event of UFC 203 just three months ago. Prior to the setback, the Dutchman had strung together four consecutive victories inside the Octagon, including back-to-back finishes of former Heavyweight champions, Junior dos Santos and Andrei Arlovksi.
Hunt, meanwhile, has apparently almost buried the hatchet with the promotion after he went berserk in the wake of his “No Contest” against Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 over the summer. In fact, “Super Samoan” — who threatened to sue UFC after a history of fighting “juicers” — demanded that any future fight include a “PED Clause” that essentially ensures that he gets all of his opponent’s money if he fails a drug test.
Hunt explains the current situation on his website:
“My clause will protect me in this instance and take the financial gain of the opponent of caught cheating. That deterrent will protect me and other fighters. I’m pushing for this clause, I want to fight and I am ready. If the fight doesn’t go ahead it’s not my doing. I will not fight without this clause. I’ve already fought 3 dopers in a row and I’m not going to fight again without security. All I want is a fair go and an even playing field.”
It would be unprecedented if UFC included such language in a contract. It would be even more unprecedented if Overeem — who was punished for an abnormal testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) level of 14:1 ahead of UFC 146 back in 2012 — actually agreed to it.
Time will tell.
No other bouts for UFC 209 are known at this time, but the promotion is certainly off to a great start.