How Drugs Wrecked the Alistair Overeem vs Junior Dos Santos UFC Title Fight

Jonathan Snowden@JESnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterApril 5, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 10:  UFC fighter Alistair 'The Reem' Overeem speaks during a presentation by Qualcomm at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show at The Venetian on January 10, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 13 and is expected to feature 2,700 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 140,000 attendees.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

I was happy in my own world—a blissful world filled with science fiction novels, Five Guys and awesome heavyweight UFC fights. In my world, a fighter like Alistair Overeem looks like a Greek statue because he has been blessed by God, Darwin and the vitamin-packed water of Holland. His muscles ripple because of his natural state of being—a state closer to Hercules than modern man.

Thanks, Nevada State Athletic Commission, for waking me up from a rather pleasant dream.

Now, I know it's not fair to blame the messenger. After all, Overeem was the one caught red-handed, testing positive for a level of testosterone unheard of in mortals—even Lou Ferrigno or Arnold.

Intellectually, I know Overeem is the one who may very well cost fans an incredible heavyweight title fight at UFC 146. My brain is screaming at me that Nevada is not to blame. That Keith Kizer was just doing his job, conducting out of competition tests he's been threatening for years.

But, darn it all, I wanted to see that fight.

I know we are supposed to be concerned about the scourge of PEDs and steroids. A thousand Mike Lupica segments on the Sports Reporters has taught us that much. But it's really hard for me to muster up a care.

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Are steroids harmful? Possibly. Probably. Maybe. Some would argue that under a doctor's care, they can be safely regulated. And, if so, don't we want fighters to be the best they possibly can be? The human ideal? Don't we want them to recover more quickly from injury, to workout harder and to develop their bodies until it's a weapon in the form of muscle and bone?

There's a part of me that wants the UFC to go John L. Sullivan on us and put Overeem on a barge in international waters Police Gazette style. That's how boxing got around the long arm of the law when it was illegal in the early 1900's.

Of course, such a thing is completely out of the question.

The blessing of State Athletic Commissions is the great legitimizer for Dana White. It is a powerful argument in favor of the UFC's very existence. Risking that in order for Alistair Overeem to train a little harder would be the height of foolishness.

If only for appearance sake, we need our sport to take a hard line against performance enhancers. I understand this.

But man, I really wanted to see that fight.


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