NSAC Licenses Allistair Overeem For UFC 156 Fight WIth Antonio Silva
MMA Junkie reports that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has cleared Alistair Overeem to fight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 156 in February after a hearing today.
Overeem had to make the appearance after he was denied a license for a May 2012 fight with Junior Dos Santos after a failed drug screening. He said the incident was “educational” and he has taken steps to make sure he never fails again.
He said: “I think we’ve done everything we could to correct ourselves from the errors that were made, and I’m just ready to get my life back on track. I’m ready to get back to fighting.“
NSAC executive director Keith Kizer said Overeem sent in five voluntary testing results between June and November. He was also given NSAC-administered blood and urine testing on November 16 and December 21. All results were negative. After hearing his testimony, the NSAC approved his application to fight.
Overeem has been in the middle of controversy over performance-enhancing drug use accusations in the past. He has said he is a “clean fighter” and the “most-tested athlete in sports.” In 2011 he was suspended before UFC 146 by the NSAC for a 14-to-1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio during a drug test, more than twice the 6-to-1 ratio allowed by the commission. Overeem said he was innocent and said that a prescribed injection may be responsible. He was denied a license at the time and the NSAC wouldn’t hear a new application before December 27.
Overeem said: “Today I went for my license. I’m very happy to inform you guys that I got licensed to fight Feb. 2 in the UFC against ‘Bigfoot’ Silva. For me, it’s now back to work, back to entering the gym. I’m already basically in shape, so it’s just a couple more weeks of grinding it, and then it’s going to be showtime again.“
He added that he spent his suspension training and has added weight since his UFC 141 win over Brock Lesnar in December 2011. He credited his new nutritionist and medical team for lowering his testosterone levels. He said: “I just invested in getting to the next level; 2012 was not a lost year. It was a year of learning from mistakes and preparing for a better 2013.“