The Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title match next month between champion Junior dos Santos and Alistair Overeem is in jeopardy after Overeem tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
A random drug test was conducted on March 27 in Las Vegas, when six fighters in the top-three bouts at UFC 146 were gathered for a news conference to promote the May 26 event. Overeem tested positive for increased testosterone levels. According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s Keith Kizer in a news release issued Wednesday, Overeem’s testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels were greater than 10-to-1.
Under NSAC guidelines, anything above a 6-to-1 ratio is considered a violation.
“I am beyond pissed about this,” UFC president Dana White said Wednesday in a conference call with Canadian media that had been scheduled for a week.
“I’m so (expletive) mad right now I can’t even begin . . . ”
Dos Santos, Frank Mir, Cain Velasquez, Roy Nelson and Antonio Silva all tested negative, Kizer noted.
Overeem will need to appear before the NSAC in order to be licensed in the state, Kizer said in the release.
The Dutch heavyweight made his UFC debut last December, beating former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in the UFC 141 main event in Las Vegas. His appearance wasn’t without controversy, however.
Overeem missed a drug test in Nevada, saying he had returned to Holland to be with his sick mother. A pair of drug tests conducted in Europe were then mishandled until he eventually submitted a sample to an accredited lab. He passed that test, along with a subsequent test in Nevada prior to UFC 141, and was granted a conditional license. Among the conditions of that license, he would be subjected to random tests throughout 2012.
In an email, Kizer gave no indication Overeem’s victory over Lesnar would be changed to a no-contest or otherwise taken away from him.
“By itself, test result has no effect on that decision,” wrote Kizer.
White was incredulous over the positive result, struggling to find words when the topic was broached.
“The worst part is that he sat in front of us and lied to us,” said White, noting that Overeem has been in UFC’s offices meeting with White and chief executive officer Lorenzo Fertitta, where he insisted he was clean and would pass all drug tests.
The UFC president feels that health issues, the loss of money and damage to reputation should be more than enough to deter fighters from using performance-enhancing drugs.
“How (expletive) stupid do you have to be? Seriously dumb. Anybody who’s using (performance-enhancing drugs) right now is an absolute (expletive) moron,” he said.
“It’s beyond — what’s the word I’m looking for — it’s beyond belief. It’s beyond comprehension. You’re an absolute moron, a brain-dead absolute (expletive) dummy. It goes beyond a guy have any common sense whatsoever.”
A request via email to Overeem’s management seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Should Overeem indeed be pulled from the UFC 146 main event, it leaves a major hole in the card. Velasquez and Mir are currently scheduled to meet in a No. 1 contender’s bout, but the drug test has led to speculation Mir would receive the title shot. Velasquez lost the belt to dos Santos last October, while Mir — himself a former champion — is on a three-fight winning streak, with victories over Mirko Cro Cop, Roy Nelson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
“I would be excited if given the opportunity to compete for the UFC’s heavyweight title at UFC 146 if the reports released earlier today regarding Alistair Overeem failing his ‘A’ sample drug test are true,” Mir said in a release issued by his management.
“I have been fortunate to be able to fight in the UFC for more than a decade, and it is a dream of mine to become the first three-time heavyweight champion in the UFC. Being able to fight Junior Dos Santos would put me one step closer to that dream.”
The management team of dos Santos made only a brief statement on Twitter: “The UFC has made no announcement regarding (dos Santos’s) fight. We have no comment, this matter falls solely to NV Commission & UFC.”
White said it was too early to announce any changes to the card. He said he learned of the Overeem test results literally 30 minutes before the media call.
“I don’t have a plan B,” he said.
He also doesn’t know what Overeem’s future with the company holds. White said he’s still waiting to hear from the Nevada commission and for Fertitta to hear Overeem’s side of the story.
“It doesn’t look good, does it?” he said. “It doesn’t look good.”