Thursday, February 2, 2012

UFC boss says top contender Alistair Overeem unlikely to be pulled from title fight

source: Steven Marrocco and John Morgan |

LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White doesn't anticipate having to find a new heavyweight contender a week after the current one was charged with misdemeanor battery.

White said today that it's his understanding that the charge arose when Alistair Overeem was confronted outside the restroom of a popular Las Vegas club.

"I don't think he's in that much trouble," White said. "This isn't a situation where he beat somebody up; I don't think that's the case."

A citation issued by Las Vegas police in the early hours of Jan. 2 stated that Overeem "pushed or shoved" a woman in the face at XS nightclub in Wynn Las Vegas.

Overeem was not arrested at the time of the citation. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 21, and if convicted, he faces a maximum of six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine.

White said he wasn't intimately familiar with the case but was told second-hand about the incident.

"He had to use the restroom – this is my knowledge of what happened – (and) security was going to take him," White said. "He said, 'I don't need security,' and sure enough he goes over there, and his side of the story is some lady started yelling at him and swinging at him and everything else."

If Overeeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) were to be convicted, it would surely scratch a heavyweight title fight planned for this summer. Champ Junior Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) is set to resume training soon after undergoing knee surgery, and the UFC expects him to meet Overeem.

White said he hasn't considered the possibility of Overeem being forced out of the fight.

"We're going to have to figure that out, but I'm planning on Alistair Overeem," he said.