Former Strikeforce and DREAM Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem has been in the news almost non-stop for the past year, and very little of it has been good news. Besides his systematic dismantling of Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, the brunt of talk surrounding Overeem has been about his failed UFC 146 drug test and the subsequent attempts to get back into the good graces of the UFC and the NSAC.
Suspended for nine months due to elevated Testosterone levels, Overeem has used his off time to run his mouth a la Chael Sonnen, insinuating that champion Junior dos Santos is afraid to fight him. Apparently it has worked, as JDS has since appeared motivated to fight Overeem. However, the champ thinks Overeem does not deserve it quite yet, and both fighters have other opponents to get past first. Still, it took a lot for Overeem to get back even to that point, something he detailed recently to MMAMania:
"I never really dealt with Dana. Just hello and goodbye, we never really spoke really. Of course there's a respect from my side and his side, a mutual respect but when this happened, the show has to go on. The show didn't go on and I took responsibility for it but we didn't speak. I was in Vegas, I was in a meeting at the UFC headquarters and I actually took the time to wait for him to finish with his business. I stepped into his office and took responsibility and I said it was my fault. I think for him hearing that directly out of my mouth and by looking each other in the eyes that was good, good for the relationship. Immediately after I noticed a difference in his tone so I think that was the right thing to do."
Dana White has often expressed his disdain at Overeem's handling of the situation, because he believed he was lied to by Overeem's assurance that he was a clean fighter. Rest assured that he will be more highly tested than most, if not all, MMA fighters upon his return. Slated to face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 156 in February, it appears that Overeem's acceptance and apology has brought him back into White's favor. Perhaps the huge pay-per-view numbers Overeem could potentially garnish has something to do with the situation. Regardless, “The Demolition Man” is set to return soon, and if he stays clean, he could make some major waves at Heavyweight within the next year. Once the fight is over, be sure to check out the Overeem vs. Silva fight video highlights, right here to find out if it's a successful return for 'reem.