As we move into the final month of 2012, I am going to write a series of blogs that take a look at the things in the MMA world that I’m looking most forward to in 2013. The first edition of this series is going to take a look at the biggest thing I am excited about, both literally and figuratively, the return of Alistair Overeem!
As everyone should know by now, Reem smashed Brock Lesnar last December. As a result, he was named the number one contender to the UFC Heavyweight Title, and was set to fight Junior Dos Santos at the all-heavyweight event at the end of May. However, Reem failed a pre-fight drug test, with NSAC Executive Director Kizer citing an impermissible level of testosterone. As a result, the commission suspended Overeem from applying for a license until the end of 2012. For his part, Overeem has maintained that he is a clean fighter.
Luckily, we are now getting close to the end of 2012 and the Reem’s suspension, and I am extremely excited. His UFC return fight is already (tentatively) set against Bigfoot Silva on Super Bowl weekend in February. There should be no doubt that an impressive win on a marquee event such as that would position Reem to fight the winner of the Dos Santos-Velasquez heavyweight title fight later this month.
I am looking forward to Reem’s return for multiple reasons. For starters, I am too afraid of him not to be excited. Along those lines, he is one of the most destructive fighters in MMA and has the potential to separate opponents from consciousness with seemingly the flick of a finger. Plus, he does all of this with the physique of a Greek God, which makes it all the more visually impressive.
In addition, Reem will undoubtedly inject a new level of excitement into the UFC heavyweight division. Dos Santos and Velasquez are going to fight in what has the potential to be the most exciting fight of the year inside the cage. But, outside of the cage? Both of them are, quite frankly, somewhat boring. Dos Santos always seems so happy all the time, while Velasquez is usually so motivated and aggressive he is too busy to show any personality in pre-fight promotion. Reem does not suffer from that same problem, as he has already gone out of his way to repeatedly call out Dos Santos and all but guarantee that he will become the next UFC heavyweight champion.
In 2013, we will get to see whether Overeem can fulfill his promises and take the UFC Heavyweight Title. Of course, first he will have to get past Bigfoot Silva. But if he does, Reem will certainly go out of his way to poke and prod whoever the heavyweight champion is to set up for a can’t miss title fight in the summer. No matter who is the champion, Reem has the chance to test their chin like no one else before. I am literally drooling thinking about a stand-up battle between Dos Santos and Reem.
And that is one thing I’m looking forward to in 2013!