Despite plenty of speculation to the contrary in recent days, the UFC 141 main event between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem is still on schedule.
On Monday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission granted Overeem a conditional license even though the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion has yet to submit a satisfactory pre-fight urinalysis.
Overeem’s license was issued with three stipulations. First, Overeem must submit an observed urine sample within 72 hours at a NSAC-recognized facility in Europe. He will also be tested upon arriving in the United States from the Netherlands prior to UFC 140. Finally, Overeem will be subject to two random drug tests in the six months after his Dec. 30 bout with Lesnar.
While under oath, Overeem explained to the commission the conditions which led to him leaving the U.S. on Nov. 17, the same day the first sample was requested by NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer.
“I apologize for the delay,” Overeem said by phone during Monday’s meeting. “In my case, there were three factors involved. My mother is not doing so well, and that is why I moved my camp back to my country. Second, because this is my first fight with the state of Nevada and the UFC. Thirdly, because the procedures of testing in Holland differ significantly than the procedure in the States.”
Overeem said that he was not made aware of Kizer’s request by his assistant until he had left the country. He took his first test on Nov. 23, six days after the initial request.
“When I got the request to test myself, I took the test straight away,” he said. “When I got the results, I immediately submitted them, and I thought that should be sufficient for the commission. After a couple of days, I received notice that it was not sufficient and I needed to do more testing. I went back to the doctor and had my second test done, now with the full parameters provided by the state athletic commission. This was taken last Thursday, Dec. 7. The results are due (in) seven to 10 days, so I’m expecting them sometime this week.”
Overeem took a blood test instead of the required urinalysis on Nov. 23. Kizer said that the results of the blood test came back clean.
The commission’s greatest concern on Monday was the time between Nov. 17, the date Kizer requested a drug test, and Dec. 7, the day Overeem finally submitted to proper testing. The K-1 veteran denied that he had he had attempted to skirt the process.
“I did not take any effort to avoid any testing. Furthermore, I’ve done exactly what I’ve been told to do by my assistants, who’ve been told what to do by Mr. Kizer,” Overeem stated.
Overeem also cited a lack of familiarity with the drug testing method of the NSAC as another reason for the delay.
“It’s really hard to test myself here, and I’ve never been through this procedure before,” he said. “Every time I got the notice, ‘You have to go to the doctor to get the test done,’ I went the next day.”
Overeem was also asked about his lack of correspondence with the UFC during the ordeal.
“In training camp, I don’t communicate with the UFC — my assistants do that for me,” he said.
While the commission ultimately recognized Overeem’s explanation as honest and was sympathetic to his personal issues, it also promised “more Draconian measures” the next time a fighter does not take a test in the allotted time frame.
Kizer said that since the commission reinstated random, out-of-competition testing on July 1, more than 50 mixed martial artists have been tested, with none experiencing delays similar to Overeem. Meanwhile, Lesnar was asked to submit a screening on the same day as Overeem and did so on Nov. 21.