The much-anticipated heavyweight bout between UFC stalwarts Alistair Overeem and Junior dos Santos is finally slated to take place on UFC Fight Night at the Amway Centre in Orlando, Florida, on 19 December.
The fight between the two juggernauts was originally scheduled to take place as the main event of UFC 146 in May 2012, but the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Overeem was suspended from the fight card after failing a drug test, and was also denied a fighter's license by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC).
The two were again set to meet in May the following year at UFC 160, but this time, Overeem had to withdraw from the fight owing to an injury. And the fans as well as the fighters will now hope that the fight goes as per schedule this time.
The veterans - Overeem, 35, and dos Santos, 31 - are ranked ninth and second in the latest UFC Heavyweight rankings at the moment. The two will be engaged in a three-minute round fight in December this year, and will be part of the co-main event of the fight card.
While the Brazilian dos Santos comes after a unanimous decision win over Stipe Miocic in December last year at UFC on Fox 13 fight card, Overeem, comes into the fight on the back of a unanimous win over American Roy Nelson in UFC 185 in March this year.
Overeem, who has also defeated former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE superstar Brock Lesnar in the octagan earlier, is currently on a two-match winning streak. However, his involvement with drugs has provoked his upcoming opponent to engage into a war of words already.
"I don't choose opponents, but I'm not gonna lie -- it will feel great to shut this guy up," dos Santos posted on his Instagram account, following the announcement by the UFC.
Agora é oficial. Dia 19 de dezembro em Orlando FL Vocês sabem que eu não escolho adversário, mas não vou mentir. Essa eu estava fazendo questão. Feliz demais por voltar a ativa. Espero que dessa vez o adversário não caia no Doping. Oss | | #EuSouCers #TNTenergydrink #UNIARP #Corinthians #FarmaciaAnalitica #DraMariaAmeliaBogea #WayCompany #Aledora @asecurityinsurance | | Game on. I don't choose opponents, but I'm not gonna lie- it will feel great to shut this guy up. USADA Let's work.
The former UFC heavyweight champion, Dos Santos, is likely to train at the American Top Team in Florida for the bout. He has 17 wins and just three losses in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career so far, which boasts of wins over Frank Mir as well as current UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum.
The other main event of the UFC on Fox 17 event in December features a lightweight title clash between champion Rafael dos Anjos and challenger Donald Cerrone.