Just when UFC 146 was looking to be an amazing card, Alistair Overeem had to go and have another “incident” with steroid use. Overeem was set to take on current UFC heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen now.
Since the news broke, many fans and UFC officials have struggled with what should happen next. Nothing is for sure until Overeem meets with the Nevada State Athletic Commission on April 24th, to make his argument on why he failed the test, and why he should still be able to compete against JDS for the belt.
Not all is lost though, if Overeem is not allowed to fight, or is suspended for a period of time, there is several candidates that are more than qualified to challenge JDS. Although Frank Mir is slated to fight Cain Velasquez the same night, Mir stated he wouldn’t hesitate to replace Overeem if needed. Check out what he had to say on last night’s episode of MMA Uncensored;
“No, as of right now, I’m still training for Cain. Obviously, I’m like everybody else. I see that, in the background, there’s a possibility Overeem’s not going to be able to make the fight on the 26th, and if that’s the case, I wanna make sure I’m in a position where I can jump in.”
When asked straight out if he felt Alistair was a ‘cheater’ Mir stated he wants to give him the benefit of the doubt, even if all signs point to guilty.
“I’m very much on the point of ‘innocent, until proven guilty.’ If he has a hearing and he comes in and speaks, I wanna hear what he has to say and what’s going on. All six of us were tested on that day, that were on that stage, and he had some complications with his test, obviously. Give the man a chance to speak about it.”
And what if he is chosen to replace Overeem? Velasquez and Dos Santos are two very different fighters, but Mir said he’s ready to take on the challenge.
“Well, you know, it’s a little bit of an adjustment, but I’d rather go in that direction than the other way. Just for the reason being the kind of conditioning it takes. Wrestling in the gym as much as I am with the kind of guys that are more wrestling oriented, collegiate wrestlers, that conditioning is just extremely anaerobic and extraordinarily tough to train for. Anybody who trains realizes that anybody can spar three, four, five, six rounds, if it’s just striking with no takedowns. But maybe if you start taking people down and fighting on the ground and we wrestle to get back up, that’s when it’s extremely fatiguing. so, going from a grappler to have to prepare for a striker, I feel it’s easier than the other way around.”
Although Mir is aware that there is other fighters who are just a qualified to take on the champ, such as Mark Hunt, he feels that he is the best choice, and might be a bit ‘angry’ if he wasn’t chosen.
“I feel that I have the most credentials, going into it. I think I have the longest winning streak of the heavyweights that were already posted on that card to fight. As far as what the rankings are, I feel I have the most credentials going in, and I’m motivated to do so. It was funny, a couple of months ago, when I was training for this, I had been training for a five-round fight to begin with. Reason being that Cain Velasquez is a cardio freak, and if something were to happen with the title shot, I wouldn’t want it to be something where I had to turn it down because I wasn’t prepared for it. I mean, obviously I’d feel a little slighted (if someone else were picked to fight dos Santos). But, both those guys (Hunt and Velasquez) are great fighters. I would never be mad at them for taking advantage of the situation. Would I be angry? Of course. I wouldn’t wanna be at my house on the night that’s announced. I would not be a happy individual. I would probably just stay away from my house for a couple of days.”
Transcribed by: MMA Mania