News came earlier today (Tues., August 25, 2015) that Junior dos Santos and Alistair had finally signed on to face each other at December 19’s UFC on FOX 17 from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.
The scheduling put to rest months and even years of speculation and endless smack talk from both sides, which had ramped up to an all-new level with both fighters looking for a bout in otherwise packed heavyweight landscape.
“JDS” and “The Reem” were originally supposed to battle for dos Santos’ heavyweight title in the main event of May 2012’s UFC 146, but a surprise drug test at a pre-fight media press conference led to a failed drug test for elevated testosterone for Overeem, putting the bout on hold. Following a yearlong suspension and losses by both combatants, the fight was eventually rescheduled for UFC 160 in May 2013, but an Overeem injury forced Mark Hunt to take his place and get smoked by “Cigano.”
Last seen defeating top contender Stipe Miocic last December, dos Santos has been on the sidelines recovering from knee and nose surgeries, and he also campaigned for a return title shot against old rival Fabricio Werdum after “Vai Cavalo” won the belt against Cain Velasquez at UFC 188.
Overeem, meanwhile, has won two out of his last three fights, beating Roy Nelson at UFC 185 in March. Still, “The Reem” has lost three of his seven total UFC bouts by knockout, and he should face one of the most powerful KO artists he’s ever met in “Cigano.” How much is left of that once-elite champion is a legitimate question, however.
Overeem relentlessly called out the Brazilian slugger, whom, it’s worth noting, will train for this pivotal fight at American Top Team (ATT).
He got the fight with his talk, and now the winner will be on the cusp of a coveted title shot. But we’ve been here before, and all of the switch-ups prompted dos Santos to post that he doesn’t pick his opponents on Instagram, also stating that he hopes Overeem passes the drug test this time in his native Portuguese:
“I do not choose Opponents, but I’m not gonna lie-in it will feel great to shut this guy up. USADA Let’s work.”
Agora é oficial. Dia 19 de dezembro em Orlando FL Vocês sabem que eu não escolho adversário, mas não vou mentir. Essa eu estava fazendo questão. Feliz demais por voltar a ativa. Espero que dessa vez o adversário não caia no Doping. Oss | | #EuSouCers #TNTenergydrink #UNIARP #Corinthians #FarmaciaAnalitica #DraMariaAmeliaBogea #WayCompany #Aledora @asecurityinsurance | | Game on. I don’t choose opponents, but I’m not gonna lie- it will feel great to shut this guy up. USADA Let’s work.