After all the injuries, suspensions and other issues this year, the UFC has a bit of good news.
Despite the fact that heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem is currently on suspension, the Nevada State Athletic Commission is allowing the UFC to promote a February 2013 fight between "The Demolition Man" and Antonio Silva.
Of course, the match ultimately depends on whether Overeem is licensed again in time for the fight. Dana White seems optimistic, though, as he told the press at the UFC 154 post-fight press conference:
We asked the commission, "Can we start setting up a fight for him?" But [Overeem's] still got to go before the commission.
I think Alistair has been doing the right thing as far as the commission is concerned and doing all the things that he needs to do to get back in their good graces. It’s looking positive and optimistic because he’s been doing what he’s supposed to do.
However, Dana White confirmed that Nick Diaz would not be promoted while on suspension for fighting with traces of marijuana metabolites in his system.
Diaz will be able to reapply for a fighter's license in February, but is currently in the midst of a lawsuit against the NSAC.
Unlike Overeem's last intended appearance on a UFC card, the main event doesn't rest on the Dutchman's massive shoulders. Barring injuries, UFC 156 will supposedly be headlined with a featherweight title fight between Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo, with Overeem vs. "Bigfoot" Silva likely serving as the co-main event.
Overeem was initially set to face reigning UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos for his UFC title last May, but was removed from the card after testing positive for high levels of testosterone.
After attending a hearing with the NSAC, Overeem was able to reduce his suspension to nine months instead of a standard year, dating back from his March 27 drug test.