The UFC invades the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas for UFC 156 in one of the more complete cards in recent memory. The main event features a super fight at 145 pounds between champion Jose Aldo of Brazil and New Jersey native Frankie Edgar.
Edgar, the former lightweight champion, looks to become the third man in UFC history to win a belt in two different divisions.
But the biggest fight of the night, definitely by size, is the battle between former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, who stands at 6-5 and weighs more than 250, and contender Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, who is 6-4 and 265 pounds. It will be the first bout for Overeem since testing positive for elevated testosterone levels.
The 33-year-old Overeem, who trains and resides in South Florida, debuted in the UFC with a dominating first-round KO of former titlist Brock Lesnar. A title shot was set against Junior Dos Santos, and then came the positive test. Now, more than eight months later the Dutch fighter is on the cusp of another title shot, and he appreciates the second chance.
“I’m very happy and pleased to be back,” Overeem said. “We still have one more mountain to climb [before the title shot], that’s Bigfoot.”
Overeem knows that in the lead-up to a championship bout with monarch Cain Velasquez he will face a ton of scrutiny. With the use of PEDs on the forefront of the sports world, Overeem is eager to show his critics to he is clean.
“I did the drug testing, and if it’s necessary I’ll do more testing,” Overeem said.
Overeem (36-11) has fought only once in the past 18 months but would like to keep a lot more active in 2013. He’s confident of a win, a subsequent title shot, and a title-winning victory, but he says first things first.
“I’m always focused on my next battle,” Overeem said. “Winning the next fight is the most important thing.”