MMAjunkie.com(www.mmajunkie.com) today confirmed with sources close to the event that Overeem has withdrawn from the planned UFC meeting with the former Brazilian champ. The scratch was first reported by MMA Fighting.
UFC 160 takes place May 25 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The main card will air on pay-per-view following prelims on FX and Facebook.
Overeem’s name was most recently in the news when Nevada State Athletic Commission officials revealed his blood test following January’s UFC 156 event was both clean and also with testosterone levels below a normal range of 250-1,100 nano grams per deciliter (ng/dL). As MMAjunkie.com first reported, Overeem’s total testosterone came in at 179 from the test, which was administered the morning after the fight at 8:25 a.m. on Feb. 3.
Dos Santos, of course, had hoped to rebound from his loss to Velasquez at UFC 155 in December. That was his first loss in the UFC and came in his second defense of the heavyweight title after a win over Frank Mir at UFC 146. He had been itching to fight Overeem while he was champion, but now it’s unclear whether he’ll try and wait out the former Strikeforce champ or instead take another opponent.
Overeem had looked to try to climb back from his first loss since September 2007. The elite kickboxer was supposed to have a shot at Dos Santos’ heavyweight title at UFC 146, but failed a pre-fight drug test with elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels. The NSAC would not consider licensing him for a period of nine months, which amounted, effectively, to a non-suspension suspension for the Dutch fighter. His return at UFC 156 was supposed to be a top contender’s fight for him, with a win securing him a shot at Velasquez. But an unexpected loss to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva set the former Strikeforce champion back in the pack.