Alistair Overeem tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone and as per the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Overeem must stand before the commission officials in order to receive a license, in an email received by multiple media outlets (including Bleacher Report).
The news sent shock waves throughout the MMA world because of the realization that the main event of UFC 146 may be tweaked, if not scrapped completely, and though Overeem was never licensed to fight reigning UFC Heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146, a negative test for a "B" sample may salvage the fight. The downside, though, is that the results of the "A" sample make it unlikely that the "B" sample will render a negative sample.
After lots of time to cool off about it, though, it becomes apparent that this issue adds on to what might be one of MMA's two most ridiculous debates, which in this case is the endless headache of a testosterone debate.
If we're keeping tabs on the history of this issue, it all started after UFC 117, when Chael Sonnen tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, which is where the roots of the Testosterone Replacement Therapy debate were planted, as the TRT was meant to treat his hypogonadism, and after that, the positive testosterone tests seemed to just flow right afterwards.
After Sonnen's test, Nate Marquardt and Dan Henderson were well publicized for their use of TRT, as was Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Now Overeem has been popped for elevated levels of testosterone, but what does it matter right now?
First of all, this is supposedly no surprise to anyone, and the basis for it being no surprise to anyone is his transformation from a light-heavyweight to a heavyweight, but while he looks like an animal now, it's not difficult to think that Overeem knows how to do it without cycling steroids. As a professional athlete, one would hope that Overeem, who has been defending himself from steroid claims since age 17, has discovered the proper techniques needed to properly pack on the weight needed to make a successful run in the 265-pound division.
Secondly, we have to eventually hear Overeem's end of this ordeal before we shred him for what is, by all truthful admissions, a rather stupid move. As tough as that concept is for some to grasp when it comes to the sports world, the truth is that there are two sides to every story, and Overeem's must be heard, plain and simple.
Overeem has not and will never strike a whole lot of people as a person who would stoop so low as to purposely break rules or intentionally cheat to win, especially in contending with the biggest fight of his long MMA career. But it's easy to hear that he finally got popped for something that some prematurely assume he used against a UFC hype machine in Brock Lesnar, and it's a completely different animal to actually hear his case so that some may understand how he let himself reach those levels.
Aside from that, we must also remember that there is a "B" sample in the hands of the commission, and if the second sample doesn't test the same as the first one, then the fight is still on.
Thirdly, and finally, we have to take the worldwide fan reaction to this news into a great deal of account. There are obviously those that, for contrasting reasons, side with the commission in saying that what Overeem did was wrong and that the right action should be taken in light of this recent drug test failure. However, there are also those who recognize the results achieved inside the cage by Overeem, and feel that one failed drug test should not overshadow the fighter that Overeem is.
In short, there are a lot of things that we must keep in mind about this situation before we jump the gun on this whole debate and tear Overeem apart. Did he make a huge mistake with this positive test? Yes, he did, but as is the case with any positive drug test, we cannot write the case off once we hear that an athlete tested positive for something.
What we need to do is wait until Overeem presents his case to the NSAC in his mission to renew his fighter's license. Furthermore, we need to actually listen to his case when it comes out before we continue with these empty, meaningless conversations about Frank Mir or Cain Velasquez filling in the void for Overeem against Junior Dos Santos. If the case does prove obsolete and Overeem doesn't get licensed, then so be it. It will not mark the end of Overeem's career if the NSAC denies him a license, though, it will be a long road before Overeem can get back to a title shot.
If Overeem should get licensed, however, watch out for the man they call "The Reem," because after splitting with his longtime camp, going through with multiple drug tests before his UFC debut, getting sued by his former management team, dealing with the critics who expected him to be soundly annihilated in his UFC debut and now this drug fiasco, Overeem is going to be a much more dangerous man than he was in his last outing inside the Octagon.
What's the craziest part about it?
After bringing it to UFC 146 and giving the fans the fight they wanted to see from the get-go, he will take a post-fight drug test, as is mandated for all main-eventers after a fight card. And as ludicrous as it will sound, Overeem will pass it with flying colors.