I know I've been tough on Alistair Overeem in the past. I felt—and still feel, to this day—that he was solely responsible for the controversy surrounding his missed drug tests at the end of 2011 and his actual test failure a few months ago.
But I have to say, his proclamation that he's in Nevada today to take a voluntary drug test is a great decision. Overeem tweeted the news this morning:
I'm doing a drug test today to build confidence with the Nevada state athletic commission and because I respect and appreciate the UFC.— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) June 20, 2012
Overeem also had a message for UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who boldly proclaimed last week that he would request that Overeem submit a blood test before receiving a title fight upon his return from suspension:
And to let junior know I am a clean fighter, I'm all natural Junior.. and I am coming for you— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) June 20, 2012
What do we make of this? Is it a public relations stunt designed to earn Overeem some goodwill with the UFC and its fans? Possibly.
But even if it's a PR move at heart, it's still a good move. Voluntarily taking and passing multiple drug tests in Nevada over the next few months will prove that Overeem isn't using his suspension and time away from the Octagon to go even heavier on the juice.
I'm still not sure I buy Overeem's proclamation that he's a clean fighter because eight months of evidence is pointing the opposite direction. And despite my belief that Overeem deserves a title shot upon his return from suspension, I still think he has plenty to prove, both in the court of public opinion and to the UFC and the commissions that support them.
But regardless, this is a wise decision. Kudos to Overeem for stepping up and doing the right thing.