At a hearing today by the Nevada State Athletic Commission former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem was granted a conditional license to fight at December 30th’s UFC 141 event against Brock Lesnar.
The Dutch striker will be approved to fight at the Las Vegas show provided that he gets a new drug test done within the next 72 hours in Europe and then again in the U.S before the fight, plus he also passes a further two random tests at his expense sometime within the next six months after the fight.
Overeem was present at the meeting via a conference call from Holland and he and NSAC discussed the timeline of events surrounding a missed drugs test for his upcoming bout.
The hearing started by establishing that Overeem failed to have the test due to the fact that after conducting part of his training at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas he then left the country to return to his native Holland to be closer to his mother who was recovering after a battle with cancer.
Overeem was initially notified of the test on November 17th and was given until the 19th to set the test up. As it turns out, Overeem left for Holland on the evening that he heard about the test and then did not contact them until the 21st.
In an attempt to resolve the issue Overeem took a blood test on the 23rd in Holland, though that turned out to be the wrong test – it should have been a steroid test. He blamed differences between testing procedures in Holland compared withthe U.S for the mix-up. For the record, that test came back clean.
Overeem has since taken the correct test on December 7th, but it was taken by his own doctor, not a recognised medical facility. The results from that are currently still being analysed.
With all this info now gathered a crucial question was then asked of Overeem – when did he buy his ticket to return home to see his mother?
He responded that it was on the 15th of November. Given that this was two days before he was first notified that he was going to be tested it showed conclusively that Overeem had not purposefully left the country in order to avoid taking it.
That still left the matter of the lack of communication between Overeem and NSAC, plus the comedy of errors in submitting the correct tests. Overeem emphasized the fact that he left all matters other than his actual fight training to his assistants and simply did as they told him too.
After hearing Overeem’s assistant’s version of events the committee deliberated on it’s decision and went lightly on the fighter, noting that they didn’t believe he had been deceptive and therefore granted him a conditional license to headline the show.
Earlier in the day Frank Mir’s agent Malki Kawa confirmed that he had contacted the UFC to let them know that if there was a problem with Overeem then the former heavyweight champion, who impressively disposed of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with an arm-breaking kimura, was ready and willing to step in to face his old nemesis Brock Lesnar.
However it looks like his services will now not be required and the event can proceed as originally billed which is very good news indeed for the UFC who have been plagued with bad luck this year.