Brydon on UFC: Overeem’s negative impact

April 9, 2012, 10:49 PM

Not sure if Alistair Overeem still wants to fight on May 26, but it seems the UFC would still like him to — if he’s allowed.

Following the UFC heavyweight No. 1 contender’s surprising failed drug test last week, neither the Dutch fighter nor his management has made any public statement on the matter. And apparently they haven’t contacted the Nevada State Athletic Commission either, even as the commission has provided him an April 24th date to respond to his failed drug test last week.

So instead, the UFC has filed an application for a fight licence on his behalf.

They are clearly hoping that some alternate explanation for his elevated testosterone level can be given to satisfy the commission and grant him a licence. And by “alternate,” I mean other than him juicing.

The NSAC administered the test on March 27 following the UFC 146 press conference and then revealed last week that his “A” sample registered a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio of 14:1, well over the allowable limit of 6:1. One thing it appears the UFC will not be hoping for is that his “B” sample passes the test. That’s because Overeem hasn’t requested that it be tested.

This suggests that the failed drug test wasn’t a surprise to him. The original test might have been, but not the results, because otherwise he should be asking for the retest.

The test shouldn’t have been a surprise to him though. He may not have known for a fact the commission would test him last month, but he absolutely should have been expecting it.

If Overeem isn’t able to come up with a satisfying explanation and his licence is denied, the UFC has every right to be ticked off. In fact, I’m sure they must even be regretting signing him in the first place. Not only are they losing out on a fantastic main event, but just by having Overeem come to the UFC andnow have a positive test, he’s had a negative impact on the heavyweight division.

Because of him, they lost one of its biggest superstars, biggest pay-per-view draws and most famous champions in Brock Lesnar. Ater Overeem knocked out Lesnar at UFC 141 in December, the latter declared that he was leaving the UFC.

Yes, Lesnar admitted that he was only going to fight one more time anyway. But it would have been one more time. And it would have been quite the farewell fight.

Instead, Overeem comes into the Octagon, retires Lesnar, earns the No. 1 contendership, then (assuming he doesn’t get a licence) doesn’t even exercise it. That’s not just a waste, it’s a robbery.

As a result, the UFC will also have to scramble with a month to go to find a replacement for Overeem. The most logical candidate in my mind was Frank Mir, but Dana White quashed that scenario pretty quickly.

Other names thrown out there have been Mark Hunt, Fedor Emelianenko, Fabricio Werdum and even an undersized Dan Henderson.

Fedor is a pipe dream and is apparently already scheduled to fight a month later in Russia against Bobby Lashley. And I’m not really a fan of any of the other options.

So, might I suggest one that while quite far-fetched, makes sense on some level…

Brock Lesnar himself.

Yes, he’s retired from MMA.

Yes, he’s gone back to the WWE.

Yes, he’s lost some weight, probably stopped training, probably out of shape and probably quite content hunting and chilling with the fam in his secluded house in the woods (and quite content not to face any potential knockout blows from a certain nasty Brazilian).

However, given that he did say that had he won he would have fought one more time for the belt — and of course that would have made him the one set to face JDS at UFC 146 instead of Overeem — wouldn’t this just be the perfect logical replacement?

Some have even speculated whether Overeem’s win over Lesnar could be changed to a no-contest as a result of what’s happened. However, because Overeem passed all his drug tests leading up to their UFC 141 fight on Dec. 30 as well as the post-fight drug test, that result will officially remain a win, at least in the commission’s eyes.

But in the UFC and the fans’ eyes? It’s tainted for sure. And one could argue that the title shot should go back to Lesnar.

Again, it’s extremely unlikely to happen. You could even say it’s out-of-the-question.

But stranger things have happened, haven’t they? And having even more cross-promotion with the WWE can’t be bad, can it?

Of course, I’m mostly kidding about this prospect. The extremely tiny likelihood of it happening got even smaller Monday night, after it was announced on WWE’s Raw that Lesnar will “fight” John Cena on April 29.

But if Lesnar did entertain the possibility and the UFC made it happen, then everything would be right with the MMA world again.

Overeem would be jettisoned back to the netherworld of MMA (or at least the Netherlands), where most fans were always awed by his talent and execution but skeptical of how he got it. And we’d have the big man Brock back in the big show fighting for the UFC heavyweight belt again.

If only.


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