05 April 2012
The whispers and rumors of the secret to former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem’s Hulk-like physique were given credence this week when the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced that Overeem had tested positive for elevated testosterone. Overeem was tested this week following a press conference for his UFC heavyweight title fight against champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 146.
According the MMA Junkie:
Overeem's "A" sample was flagged for an elevated T/E ratio that exceeded 10-to-1, well over the 6-to-1 limit. [NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer] said the heavyweight has the right to request the test's "B" sample, which, if negative, would make him eligible to receive a fight license.
Overeem’s transformation from skinny light heavyweight to superhero muscled heavyweight has long been a subject of heated debate between MMA fans. While Overeem claims that his increase in mass was a direct result of intense weight training and a diet rich in horse meat, his detractors openly scoff at the notion claiming that no amount of Seabiscuit steaks can promote such muscle growth. Of course, it should be noted that Overeem tested clean following his destruction of Brock Lesnar this past December.
So far there has been no word from UFC President Dana White as to what, if anything, the UFC is going to do to Overeem in terms of punishment. The UFC has a long history of subjectively varying the punishments of fighters who test positive for performance enhancing drugs. Chael Sonnen tests positive and spins the fact he is taking testosterone for hormone deficiency and sits out a couple of months while fighters like Nate Marquardt and Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal are summarily cut from their respective contracts for testing positive for the same thing.
It’s unclear what the UFC will do, if anything. Overeem is a huge star to the die-hard fans but the more casual, “UFC-only” fight fans may not fully be sold on the European fighter. As of right now Overeem is still a go for his headlining title shot at UFC 146 in May. One would think that the UFC would want to steer clear of any controversy surrounding their all-heavyweight main card. But, then again, MMA fans are the forgiving type and as in all things in life money talks. UFC 146 will be a much more profitable show with Overeem in the mix.
Still, the UFC should do what’s right and provided that Overeem doesn’t contest the findings he should face some sort of punishment. The UFC needs to have a standard guideline for fighters caught trying to cheat the system and a fighter’s star power should not be an influence on the severity of the punishment.
Photo © Andrew Hemingway