Junior dos Santos to fight Velasquez

Updated: August 12, 2012, 3:23 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

DENVER -- UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos will defend his title against Cain Velasquez in Las Vegas on Dec. 29.

One week after UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta confirmed to ESPN.com that dos Santos would appear on the card, UFC president Dana White announced that dos Santos' opponent would be Velasquez.

"Yeah, that's the next fight," White said.

Dos Santos (15-1) took the belt from Velasquez (10-1) in a previous meeting last November via knockout. He has since defended it against Frank Mir at UFC 146.

After a UFC on Fox event on Aug. 4, Fertitta expressed optimism to ESPN.com that currently suspended heavyweight Alistair Overeem could fight dos Santos in Las Vegas. Overeem is currently serving a nine-month suspension for a failed drug test.

The former Strikeforce champion is eligible to reapply for a fighter's license in the state of Nevada on Dec. 27, but Fertitta and Overeem have both mentioned the possibility of that hearing taking place sooner.

Keith Kizer, executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, publicly stated, however, that he hasn't had discussions regarding an early hearing and would oppose one.

The UFC has since moved on from that potential bout in favor of booking the Velasquez rematch.

"There's no way in hell that's going to happen," said White, when asked whether Overeem might be approved earlier than Dec. 27. "The commission would never do that."

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