UFC President Dana White has announced via Twitter that Alistair Overeem has been pulled from his UFC 146 title fight with UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos. Former UFC champ Frank Mir will be taking his place.
"Taking off to Atlanta!!! May 26th is now Mir vs JDS for the HW title in Las Vegas at MGM Grand," tweeted White.
Though not specifically stated by White, it can be assumed that Overeem's withdrawal from the fight is a direct result of him failing a surprise pre-fight drug test. His testosterone levels were elevated above 10:1, far exceeding the 6:1 limit.
This is not the first time the UFC has had problems with Overeem. Ahead of the Dutch kickboxing specialist's UFC 141 bout with Brock Lesnar, Overeem failed to comply to Nevada State Athletic Commission's request for a pre-fight test, within a reasonable amount of time.
Understandably so, Overeem is in a lot of hot water with the UFC Pres, who has openly expressed his frustration with 'Reem.
Overeem has now been scheduled for just two fights in the UFC, one he was almost pulled out of and one that he was pulled out of.
This begs the question, should the UFC release Alistair Overeem?
It is important to note that Overeem has not tested positive for any particular banned substance—his levels are just off. To cut him now would be premature and unfair. They should test him for banned substances before deciding his fate.
Even if his does test positive for performance-enhancing drugs, the UFC has shown leniency to other fighters before in similar situations, so it would be unfair for them to cast Overeem aside, while still employing fighters with similar grievances.
For example, Chris Leben has twice tested positive for banned substances and is still in the complany's employ.
The UFC Brass also need to consider the fact that the heavyweight division is one of their weakest weight classes and they are not exactly in a position to be throwing away top contenders.
MMA's most prominent major promotion will need to keep a very close eye on Overeem from here on out, but releasing him would only succeed in taking more star power out of a division already lacking in contenders.
Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for BleacherReport.com and stand up comedian. Check him out on Twitter. @AndrewBarr8.
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