Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem will have his day in front of the Nevada Athletic Commission, but he will no longer seek the title against Junior dos Santos next month.
UFC president Dana White tweeted Friday night that Overeem would be removed from the title bout in favor of Las Vegas Frank Mir in the main event of UFC 146 on May 26 at the MGM Grand.
Overeem’s license application remains on the agenda for today’s NAC meeting, however.
After a news conference last month promoting the event, a surprise out-of-competition commission drug test of several fighters on the card revealed Overeem had a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio of 14:1, well above the NAC’s allowable level of 6:1.
The organization had kept Overeem in the main event slot in hopes he would get licensed despite the test results, but White decided to announce the change because time was dwindling to begin promoting the new main event.
Overeem is expected to appear at today’s commission meeting with his attorney and doctor. He indicated what his explanation will be with a statement released by his management team Monday.
In the statement, Overeem said he made the decision to pull out of the championship bout. He attributed his increased testosterone levels to an anti-inflammatory medication, which was prescribed by his doctor in March after aggravating an old rib injury.
"I was completely unaware that testosterone was one of the ingredients in the medication," he said. "Although I was unaware, I do realize it is my job to know what I am putting into my body."
Overeem went on to apologize to the commission, his friends and family, dos Santos, the fans and the UFC.
"I absolutely do not believe in, nor do I use, performance-enhancing drugs," he said. "I am a clean fighter, and I will do whatever it takes to prove this to everyone."
Overeem can proceed with his scheduled application for a fight license today, ask to withdraw it or seek to postpone the application. He seemed to indicate in his statement that he will ask for a continuance, which would require approval from the commission by vote.
Overeem will be under oath and asked to answer questions about the situation, regardless of which option he chooses.
Not being currently licensed, Overeem is not subject to an immediate fine or suspension as a result of the test. Should he be formally denied a license, Overeem would be unable to re-apply for one year.
■ CARD SHAKEUP – Mir is the biggest beneficiary of the Overeem situation, with the 32-year-old Las Vegan getting a shot at the heavyweight title.
Mir has held the belt before, in 2004, only to vacate it after being out of action more than 18 months due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. He also held the interim title in 2008.
Mir originally was scheduled to fight former champion Cain Velasquez at the same event. Velasquez will now take on Antonio Silva, who had been slated to fight Las Vegan Roy Nelson.
Nelson will face Gabriel Gonzaga, leaving Gonzaga’s original opponent Shane del Rosario as the odd man out.
■ JONES TO FIGHT HENDERSON – After a convincing decision victory over Rashad Evans on Saturday at Atlanta, light heavyweight champion Jon Jones will now face 41-year-old Dan Henderson.
White confirmed Henderson as the next opponent during the postfight news conference, though no date or venue has been announced.
Henderson, a former Pride and Strikeforce champion, is 0-2 in UFC title bouts.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.