Alistair Overeem fails drug test, will likely be pulled from UFC 146 title fight

So much for Overeem vs. Dos Santos... So who gets the title shot?

4/6/12 in MMA   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

In news that should surprise no one at all, UFC heavyweight title contender Alistair Overeem failed a random drug test and will likely be dropped from his title fight against heavyweight champ Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146.

Barring a very unlikely successful appeal, there's no way he'll be allowed to fight on May 26. So who should take his place against Dos Santos for the belt?

Fortunately for the UFC, they loaded the main card with 5 heavyweight fights, so there are quite a few contenders to choose from, and they're already training and preparing to fight that night.

Here's a breakdown of some of the guys who have been mentioned as potential replacements for Overeem:

Cain Velasquez - He's probably the best fighter among the possible candidates (#2 on Sherdog's top 10), but he JUST lost the title to Dos Santos in November. While I'd love to see a rematch, Cain needs to pick up a win before he gets a chance to win his belt back.

Antonio Silva - "Bigfoot" made waves in Strikeforce when he beat Fedor Emelianenko, but he's also coming off a loss to Strikeforce prospect Daniel Cormier. He's a monster, and he might be able to give Dos Santos a good fight, but he's another guy who needs a win before he can move up to the next level.

Mark Hunt - A fan favorite and a K-1 and Pride legend, Hunt is in the middle of an inexplicable rise to the top of the heavyweight division at age 38. He started his UFC career unimpressively with a loss to Sean McCorkle, but then reeled off 3 straight wins against Chris Tuchscherer, Ben Rothwell and Cheick Kongo. My only problem with Hunt is that he hasn't beaten a legitimate contender yet. To be a contender, you have to beat a contender.

Frank Mir - He first won the heavyweight title in 2004, and has had some serious ups and downs since then, but he's back with a vengeance and trying to prove that he's one of the most complete heavyweights in UFC history. Like Hunt, he's riding a 3 fight win streak, but he's done it against far better competition, beating Mirko Cro Cop, Roy Nelson and Antonio "Big Nog" Nogueira.

Right now, the UFC 146 main card looks like this:

Junior Dos Santos vs Alistair Overeem
Cain Velasquez vs Frank Mir
Roy Nelson vs Antonio Silva
Shane Del Rosario vs Gabriel Gonzaga
Mark Hunt vs Stefan Struve

Assuming Overeem gets pulled from the card, here's what I think it should look like when the UFC shuffles things around:

Junior Dos Santos vs Frank Mir
Cain Velasquez vs Mark Hunt (winner gets the next title shot)
Roy Nelson vs Antonio Silva
Shane Del Rosario vs Stefan Struve
Gabriel Gonzaga vs __________

This gives us a legitimate title fight, a solid #1 contender fight, and a chance to see two exciting young fighters tee off on each other in Del Rosario and Struve.
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