The heavyweight championship fight slated for May 26 in Las Vegas at UFC 146 is in serious jeopardy.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission announced Wednesday that Alistair Overeem, who was supposed to challenge Junior dos Santos in the night’s main event, had failed a pre-fight drug test.
Overeem tested positive for elevated testosterone levels at a random test administered by NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer last Tuesday following a press conference to promote UFC 146.
Dos Santos and four other heavyweights on the card passed the drug tests.
Overeem must appear before the commission at a future date to be determined. He can apply for a fight license, but the commission is unlikely to grant him one.
Overeem has endured a volatile seven-month stretch since signing with the UFC. A UFC 141 bout with Brock Lesnar nearly fell apart when Overeem missed an NSAC-ordered drug test.
The commission ultimately gave Overeem a conditional license for the fight, which he went on to win by first round TKO, mandating he must agree to random testing for the following six months.
Overeem was also cited for a misdemeanor battery charge at a Vegas nightclub after the victory, but a judge dropped the charges last week when the fighter agreed to 50 hours of community service and other terms.
The latest setback might not be as easy from which to get away. At least one other fighter on the card is willing to step up and face dos Santos in Overeem’s absence.
Las Vegas native Frank Mir, who is scheduled to fight Cain Velasquez in the UFC 146 co-main event, campaigned for a title shot against dos Santos through a press release after news of Overeem’s test spread Wednesday.
“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,” Mir said. “Being able to fight Junior dos Santos would put me one step closer to that dream."