The UFC will not book Alistair Overeem for fights in Las Vegas until he reapplies and is granted a license by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, according to UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta.
Overeem, currently serving a nine-month suspension under the NSAC for a failed drug test in March, caused widespread speculation Monday when he stated on Twitter he would return to the cage in December.
The Dutch heavyweight is eligible to reapply for a license on Dec. 27. If approved, he would technically be available to compete in Las Vegas at the UFC's annual year-end card, which is expected to take place Dec. 29.
That scenario appears unlikely though, as Fertitta stated he would not promote an Overeem fight until the NSAC formally approves his license application.
"That's speculation," Fertitta said in a text to ESPN.com. "It's in the NSAC's hands. (The UFC) can't be presumptuous."
Overeem (36-11-1) last fought at UFC 141 on Dec. 30, when he recorded a first-round TKO victory over former champion Brock Lesnar.
He had been scheduled to fight Junior dos Santos for the UFC title in May, but was pulled from the bout after a surprise drug test revealed his testosterone-to-epitestosterone level at 14-to-1, more than twice the NSAC maximum ratio.
Overeem admitted to injecting himself multiple times with a substance given to him by Dallas-based physician Dr. Hector Molina during a NSAC hearing on April 24.
He claimed that he took the injections to treat a lingering rib injury suffered prior to the Lesnar fight, testifying under oath that he was unaware the substance contained testosterone.
UFC president Dana White remains undecided whether Overeem will fight for the title immediately once his suspension is over. Overeem hasn't suffered a loss since 2007 and is currently ranked the No. 3 heavyweight in the world by ESPN.com.