After being suspended for nine months for testing positive for elevated testosterone levels in March, UFC Heavyweight Alistair Overeem was granted a license to fight by the Nevada State Athletic Commission at the commission hearing on Tuesday.
The news means that Overeem will be able to square off against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 156, the UFC’s Super Bowl weekend card in Las Vegas on February 2nd.
Alistair’s suspension began following a pre-fight press conference for UFC 146 where he was scheduled to fight Junior dos Santos for the UFC Heavyweight Championship. After the press conference, the NSAC administered a random drug test that Overeem failed with because of elevated testosterone levels.
Though the Dutch brawler’s suspension ended on December 27, 2012, Overeem had to go through basically formalities to get reinstated to fight in the state of Nevada. He was already tested twice more by the commission on November 16th and December 21st of 2012 and passed both tests. Also, Overeem submitted a drug test of his own which he took on November 14, 2012 that also came back clean. Then, he filed paperwork on December 28th with the NSAC to reapply for the license. Following his suspension, the next commission hearing wasn’t until today, January 8, 2013. Now training in Florida with the Blackzilians, Alistair made sure to fly out in person to show the commission he was serious about getting reinstated to fight.
Overeem stated that he regretted having to spend most of 2012 not competing to the commission. Additionally, Overeem stated that he has a new nutritionist and training staff in place to ensure he receives proper treatment for issues, rather than visiting doctors like Hector Molina who administered him the drug cocktail for a rib injury that included testosterone.
When asked by commissioner Pat Lundvall if Overeem thought their testing process was improved, Alistair mentioned to the NSAC that testing facilities overseas where he often will go to train, don’t offer the best options for which to be drug tested.
“Now that I live in the states, it’s very easy to get things done because everything’s here,” Overeem said.”And in Holland their facilities for being an athlete, a UFC athlete, it’s just not the same.”
Now relicensed and able to fight at UFC 156, Overeem made a statement to reporters following the hearing.
“I’m very happy to inform you guys that I got licensed to fight February 2nd in the UFC against Bigfoot Silva. So for me it’s now back to work, back to hitting the gym. Basically, I’m already in shape, so basically just a couple more weeks of grinding it and then it’s going to be showtime again.”