As veteran fans will recall, Overeem and dos Santos have been expected to fight a couple of times before, but both times, the bout fell through (once because Overeem tested high for elevated levels of testosterone, and another time because of an injury he incurred).
After Overeem decisioned Roy Nelson this past March, the decorated fighter started campaigning for a bout with JDS. The latter has been injured for much of 2015, but according to Mr. Overeem, the fight finally came about because of his prodding.
While speaking to MMA Junkie.com recently, Overeem had this take on the situation:
“What other people do is their business,” Overeem said. “But the fact is Junior did not want this fight. I had to push him a little it to make this fight happen – a fight which, by the way, the whole world wants to see. The UFC wants it. The fans out there all want it. I’m getting messages from every corner of the globe that people want to see this fight. So I had to push Junior a little bit.”
Is that true? If it is, chances are it’s more about the fact that JDS has always kept his eye on securing another title shot. The former champ is coming off a UD win over fellow contender Stipe Miocic, and since he holds a TKO win over current champ Fabricio Werdum, JDS wasn’t far out from securing one. If he takes out Overeem on Saturday, he may just get one if Werdum beats Velasquez for a second time.
UFC on FOX 17 will take place in Orlando, Florida.