Recently there’s been a fair bit of talk about the possibility of Alistair Overeem facing Junior dos Santos next, but will it finally happen?
Of course, the main cause for all the buzz is due to Overeem, who has been calling for a fight with the former heavyweight champ. The two have had expected bouts fall through in the past, and more recently, Overeem has said a bout with JDS is a logical way to go. After all, Overeem is coming off consecutive wins, he’s ranked #8, JDS is #2, and people want to see that fight.
The problem is, however, that dos Santos is still healing up from surgical procedures he underwent after he decisioned Stipe Miocic back in December. JDS has relayed he’s down for the fight, but he won’t be able to compete again for several more months. The accomplished fighter has also argued that “The Reem” doesn’t actually want to fight him…
“I didn’t know he was injured,” Overeem said. “For me, yeah, I’m here. I’ve been very busy. I don’t know exactly what’s going on. I haven’t spoken with management or the UFC about it. I was actually expecting a call any moment: ‘OK, this is going to be your date with Junior.’ I’m ready for it, and if it needs to be a little bit later – I mean, I need to talk to everybody about it. Maybe we’ll wait. Maybe we won’t.”
“Josh Barnett is a huge name from Japan. That’s something that we share. I don’t know. I know that ‘I don’t know’ is a stupid answer, but I cannot give you more at this point.”
Yes, Barnett is also a top ten contender who’s in need of a fight, but clearly, Overeem was being careful not to make any firm commitment (and that goes for whether he’s willing to wait for JDS as well).
It will be interesting to see if the UFC comes calling, and asks Overeem to fight sooner rather than later. It could depend on how certain JDS is in terms of a timeline for his return.