One of the biggest MMA news this past week was the positive results of the testosterone test of Overeem. What happens next?
Alistair Overeem has filed an application for a new fighter’s license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Keith Kizer, executive director of the commission, confirmed the news with Bleacher Report on Sunday. Kizer also said that he “assumes” Overeem will be in attendance for an April 24 hearing regarding his test failure for elevated testosterone to epitestosterone.
Kizer also told Bleacher Report that Overeem has also not requested that his B-sample be tested.
When a fighter gives a urine sample during the drug screening process, his urine is divided into two samples. If the A-sample fails, the fighter has the option to request that the B-sample be tested. If the B-sample is clean, the fighter likely would not be punished.
Filing a license application is a risk for Overeem. If his application is denied due to the test failure, he likely would not be able to apply for a new license until April 2013.
It’s the same situation Josh Barnett found himself in with the California State Athletic Commission during the Affliction: Trilogy ordeal. Barnett wasn’t technically suspended by the commission, but only because his license was expired. Barnett never applied for the license for fear that he would be denied, which would effectively suspend him from fighting for one year.
Things are getting interesting. It would seem—at least from the outside looking in—that Overeem is confident the commission will accept his explanation for his elevated testosterone levels. If he weren’t absolutely confident in his defense, he wouldn’t apply for a fighter’s license for the reasons I stated above.
Overeem’s job, reputation and at least one year’s worth of earnings are on the line. If he is refused a license in Nevada, the UFC will not use him for shows in other parts of the world until he’s served the one-year “suspension.” They used Chael Sonnen – despite him not reapplying for a California license – because he served the full one year suspension. Overeem would not be extended the same grace.
If Overeem is released from the UFC due to this situation, he could fight in Japan. But most major American commissions – and Nevada falls squarely in this space – frown on fighters accepting fights in non-regulated countries when they are suspended in America. But if Overeem is denied a license and cannot re-apply for one year, he technically would not be suspended because he isn’t a licensed fighter.
April 24 is going to be one interesting day.