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Nevada Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer said he will not stand in the way of UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem reapplying for a license and fighting early next year in Las Vegas, if his application is approved.
"Come Dec. 27, he's like any other fighter," Kizer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday, referring to the date Overeem's suspension ends. "He's free to apply for his license. The commission will not do it administratively, however. He has to appear at a commission hearing."
Overeem was suspended for nine months after results from his random prefight test taken March 27 revealed a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio of 14-to-1, according to Kizer. Fighters must not exceed a T/E ratio of 6-to-1.
Overeem can submit an application for a fighter's license subsequent to Dec. 27.
The former Strikeforce champion was scheduled to face UFC heavyweight titleholder Junior dos Santos in May at UFC 146 in Las Vegas, but was subsequently pulled from the bout after failing his prefight drug test.
He is tentatively scheduled to face Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva at UFC 156 on Feb. 2 in Las Vegas.
If he is allowed to resume his mixed martial arts career, the 6-foot-5, 255-pound Overeem will take a professional mixed martial arts record of 36-11 into the Octagon against Silva.
Overeem, a former kickboxing champion, earned a title shot against dos Santos in December 2011 when he defeated former UFC champion Brock Lesnar by first-round TKO. He has not appeared in the cage since.
Silva, who stands 6-4 and weighs 265 pounds, ended a two-fight losing skid on Oct. 5 with a first-round TKO of Travis Browne in Minneapolis.