Whoever emerges the victor at UFC 155 in Las Vegas will, once healthy, put the belt on the line against Overeem, possibly as early as March or April 2013.
“The winner of that fight will fight Overeem (in March or April),” UFC president Dana White said. “Nothing is done, nothing is etched in stone, but that’s what I would like to see happen.”
Overeem is currently serving a suspension handed down from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) stemming from a positive test for elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels earlier this year. The 32-year-old is eligible to apply for licensure once the suspension is complete on Dec. 27. The Dutchman has not competed since a Dec. 2011 win over Brock Lesnar in his debut with the organization.
Overeem was scheduled to face Dos Santos at UFC 146 this past May, but Overeem’s test result caused him to be pulled from the bout and he was replaced by Frank Mir, who Dos Santos went on to defeat by TKO.
Should a Dos Santos vs. Overeem fight materialize, it would pit two fighters with a disdain for each other against one another. Earlier this year Overeem stated Dos Santos was “scared” to fight him and in turn the Brazilian called Overeem a “punk”. Plenty more has been said between the two, and the chance to settle their differences in the cage would make for a big fight.
Velasquez, on the other hand, will look to play spoiler to a Dos Santos-Overeem match up by exacting revenge on the Brazilian champion at UFC 155. Velasquez held the heavyweight belt before he was knocked out by Dos Santos in the first meeting between the two at UFC on FOX 1 in Nov. 2011. The 30-year-old is eager for the rematch with “Cigano” and is hungry to get the title back around his waist.
With the upcoming title fight of Dos Santos vs. Velasquez, Overeem waiting in the wings for the next title shot and a mix of veterans and contenders like Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Antonio Silva, Stefan Struve, Frank Mir and Fabricio Werdum building momentum – the future of the UFC heavyweight division looks as bright as ever.
This article was written by Mike Bohn, founder and lead writer of FightCove.com. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBohnMMA. Also, be sure to follow @FightCove on Twitter and “Like” Fight Cove on Facebook.