Credit: Sherdog.com

Credit: Sherdog.com

Since signing with the UFC in September 2011, Alistair Overeem’s MMA career has been nothing short of controversy and disappointment. However, Overeem looks to overcome these personal and professional issues at UFC 164 where he’s rumored to be headlining the PPV event on August 31 from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Overeem debuted in the UFC at UFC 141 in December 2011 to take on Brock Lesnar in a highly anticipated fight. Overeem won the bout via TKO at the 2:26 mark of round 1. It effectively ended Lesnar’s MMA career and catapulted Alistair to a title fight against Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146 in May 2012.

However, Overeem’s first bout in the UFC almost didn’t happen because he missed a pre-test flight which was allegedly due to Alistair having to return home to take care of his mother. Overeem received a conditional license from the Nevada State Athletic Commission so that he can fight Lesnar. Many critics speculated that Overeem avoided the test due to taking illegal substances. These speculations grew when Overeem failed his pre-fight test against Dos Santos in April 2012.

Alistair had a 14 to 1  testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio which was over twice the allowed ratio of 6 to 1. His application for a fight license was denied by the NSAC for the next 9 months. Overeem’s camp claimed that these results were due to a doctor’s prescription of anti-inflammatory medicines. Since Overeem’s license with the NSAC had expired after the Lesnar fight, he was not punished by the state’s athletic commission.

This effectively removed Overeem from the UFC heavyweight title picture and put UFC’s top heavyweight acquisition on the shelf for all of 2012. By the end of the year, Overeem was anxious to get back into the cage and was scheduled to fight against Antonio “Big Foot” Silva in February 2013 at UFC 156. With the victory, Overeem was set to earn a heavyweight title shot. Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way he had planned.

The favored Overeem was KO’d by Silva in the 3rd round of their bout despite being up on the cards after taking the first two rounds. Overeem was overconfident in the fight as he declared pre-fight that he was better than Silva in every aspect. This was Overeem’s first loss since September 2007. Silva earned the title shot against champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 160 in May and, as a consolation prize, Overeem earned a fight with former champion Junior Dos Santos.

So, for the second time, Overeem and Dos Santos were supposed to meet. Yet, like the first time, the fight didn’t happen. But this time, it wasn’t due to a failed drug test. It was due to an injury that Overeem sustained, which forced him to pull out of the fight. The UFC wanted to push the fight against Dos Santos into the summer, but after taking time to consider things, they decided to give Dos Santos a fight at UFC 160 against Mark Hunt with the winner to take on the winner of Velasquez and Silva for the UFC heavyweight title. In a interesting side note, Overeem defeated Hunt at Dream 5 in July 2008.

Once  again, not only does Overeem lose out on a UFC title shot, but he also falls back down the ladder and will be at least two fights away from another heavyweight championship fight opportunity.

From injuries to failed tests, there’s a dark cloud hanging over Alistair’s head in the UFC. He looks to shake off these unfortunate circumstances at UFC 164 where his opponent has yet to be announced. UFC will look to capitalize on Overeem’s fading popularity and put him in with another named fighter from the heavyweight division. Could we see Overeem vs. Cormier or Nelson?