LAS VEGAS -- Alistair Overeem has no problem submitting himself to blood tests at the request of UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos -- although he sees the request as merely a cover for other intentions.
Overeem is currently serving a nine-month suspension with the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He was denied a fight license by the NSAC in April, after a random drug test in March produced a high testosterone-to-epitestosterone level. Overeem admitted to unknowingly injecting a substance that contained testosterone.
The former Strikeforce champion was immediately removed from a title bout against dos Santos, which had been scheduled for UFC 146 in Las Vegas.
Last month, dos Santos said in an interview with ESPN Brasil that he would prefer Overeem go through random blood testing should the two ever fight, in addition to the usual urine tests performed by athletic commissions.
Dos Santos also said that when Overeem returns, “he doesn’t deserve a title shot right now,” and should have to win another fight for the opportunity.
Overeem sees all of it, including the demand for blood tests, as evidence that dos Santos is uninterested in the fight.
“The thing with Junior is I think he’s putting up all these barriers not to fight me,” Overeem told ESPN.com. “If he really wants me to do that, that’s fine. Then come up to me and ask me or come to the UFC and let’s have a meeting and make a deal.”
According to Overeem, the two heavyweights ran into one another at the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas last week and the issue of blood tests came up.
“I actually saw him and spoke to him and said, ‘Hey, that’s a great idea. Let’s sign up for VADA [Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency],” Overeem said. “He said, ‘Vada? What is that? That’s a PR stunt.’ I said, ‘No, it’s not a PR stunt. That’s to prove to the world we’re clean fighters.’
“We’ll see what happens. For me, I want to be treated the same as him. If I’m going to do blood [testing], fine. I have no problem with that. But you’re going to do blood.”
During his interview with ESPN Brasil, dos Santos did say he expected both he and Overeem to undergo the blood tests.
In an effort to restore his reputation with the NSAC and the UFC, Overeem has submitted himself to voluntary tests while serving the nine-month suspension.
He says he understands some critics will never see him as a clean fighter, but that he’s dealt with that his entire career and ultimately, what matters is securing his license when eligible to reapply in December and moving forward.
“I’m going to do what I think is best, and that is to test regularly,” Overeem said. “Some people appreciate it and others will not. That’s fine. I can say with a straight face I have done my part.
“I’m going to do my thing, prove to the UFC, to the commission and test regularly. What else can I do?”