I might be a little more long-winded than our webmaster, but hear me out. I have a legitimate belief that Alistair Overeem will indeed fight as scheduled for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 146. The fact that Overeem recently broke his silence and did NOT mention his failed test, leaves me to believe that the UFC will use a combination of loopholes and influence on the Nevada State Athletic Commission to get Alistair licensed for the bout. Add in the fact that Overeem has one of the most powerful lawyers in Vegas on retainer due to this matter, as well as other legal issues, and we likely end up with Reem in the cage at 146.
Our ENRAGED webmaster already detailed Overeem’s failed drug test and mentioned the fates of other fighters who also flunked the urine exam; I will not regurgitate those details for you. (Though, I will note that according to my sources, Sonnen’s T/E ratio tipped the scales at 16.9:1.) In my humble opinion, Overeem should be pulled from the fight and given a twelve-month suspension. The suspension would likely end his UFC run for the time being but will do right by his peers and the fans of the sport. Overeem will then likely return to compete in the “international waters” of MMA in Europe or Japan where he will be free to eat all the testosterone infused Clydesdale that he can stomach. I can see the cast-off Reem making a return to kickboxing or taking a big pay day at one of the upstart MMA promotions in Asia, and I still WILL watch. Say what you will about his PED use, but the guy is ENTERTAINING. If anyone has thought that allll these years that Overeem has been clean then you are simply kidding yourself. I recently went back and watched a Chuck Liddell/Overeem fight from Pride in 2003. Overeem is a SHRIMP! The guy has blown up to cartoonish levels in recent years; it is simply not natural. He does not pass the “eye” test in any way, shape, or form.
This circumstances surrounding Overeem and his implied PED use reminds me the 1998 Home Run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. These two captivated a national audience as they launched homer after homer into the bleachers all while chasing Roger Maris’ single season record. At the time, no one questioned how two aging sluggers managed to pack on muscle towards the end of their so-called “primes” and begin bombing home runs at an otherworldly level.
Observers were simply wowed by the unreal feats of strength and had no desire or care to know the dirty science behind them. The same mental attitude has been applied to Overeem for the last few years. Largely because he was not a member of the country club of MMA, the UFC. Fans watched from afar as Alistair decimated opponents, laughing and casually shrugging off the fact that he was “on ‘roids” or “the juice.” As Alistair finally signed on with the UFC, it was really only a matter of time before he got popped for having a hot test. The guy is a walking science experiment. He barely got licensed for his Lesnar fight and used various excuses and tactics to assure the NSAC’s testing worked out for positively for him. Due to the failing results, there are hordes of keyboard warriors out there who believe that Overeem has defiled the UFC, the sport, and it’s fans as a whole. Many are unecessarily villefying Overeem for his actions, when in reality he is one of many, many more athletes in the sport who use PED’s. Sad, but true. (Our webmaster excluded from these keyboard pugilists, he is still bad-ass even though he thinks the Overeem debacle will bring down MMA in a Watergate/Lewinsky-esque manner). In all honesty, others have failed this test, they took their punishment, and came back clean*. Some of them somehow even managed to get a title shot (or even two) in their return from PED exile… Let The ‘Reem serve his time, come back clean*, and begin entertaining us again.
Unfortunately, I believe my course of action will fall on deaf ears. The UFC, Dana White, and the NSAC will somehow mask the facts and assure that Alistair fights for the title at 146. This will be a questionable decision in the march toward legitimacy that Dana and Zuffa have worked to attain since the days of Art Jimmerson. We will all have to bite the pillow on this one and remember that capitalism has us all by the balls.
PED use is rampant in MMA and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it until blood testing becomes the norm. I simply do not see that happening any time soon due to health concerns that would arise about drawing blood from fighters in a certain period of time before their fights (See Pacquiao, Manny) . In the time being, we will have to live under the illusion that our heroes are clean*, and keep cheering for those that are brave enough to get into the cage in order to entertain us.
If Reem does get suspended, forget Mark Hunt, give Hendo** the title shot!!!
*”clean” as defined by the UFC: Able to pee clean a week before the fight… How you test the other 51 weeks of the year is irrelevant.
** TRT, blah, blah, blah. It is “legal”, and the man tests clean. Unfortunately, that is all that matters in today’s fight game.