- UFC 146
Frank Mir will replace Overeem, predicts manager
Frank Mir's manager believes the UFC is merely waiting for the Nevada State Athletic Commission to rule Alistair Overeem out of UFC 146, and he expects Mir to be called upon as his replacement.
A silence has fallen on the situation since Overeem delivered a positive drug test, with an NSAC hearing set for April 24. President Dana White did, however, state that Mir's fight with Cain Velasquez would go ahead as planned on the same card.
That would seem to suggest that, if Overeem is not granted a licence to fight Junior Dos Santos for the heavyweight title, Mir will not be promoted into the championship fight. However, Malki Kawa sees it differently.
"The latest is the following: I think if you notice the [Cris] Cyborg thing, she was never stripped of her title until they go in front of the commission and get their cases heard and stuff, and now her title's been officially stripped," Kawa explained to MMA Weekly Radio. "The same thing happens with things of this nature.
"Overeem's not officially out yet until the Nevada State Athletic Commission decides."
Kawa believes the reason for the UFC not acting sooner to announce Overeem's replacement is due to the fact that the challenger's fight contract currently is not broken. Only when the NSAC delivers its ruling can Overeem be removed from the fight.
"Let's just say they were to say, 'You're out, we're going to put Frank Mir in'. I think there's a bout agreement in place right now between Overeem and Junior dos Santos, and I think legally if he gets licensed, he has an opportunity to take action.
"Or what would happen is they would say, 'Hey Frank Mir, you're going to fight JDS' and then the 24th comes, which is two weeks away, and then they turn around and say, 'Overeem here's your license.' Well now Frank, guess what, you're going back to fight Cain and Overeem you go fight JDS.
"So to avoid confusion, what I think is happening is they're going to wait for the decision, if Overeem gets licensed, everything goes on as planned. If Overeem doesn't get licensed, then you can bet your house there's going to be a replacement."
Asked if, contrary to White's words, Mir will be the replacement, Kawa said: "I tend to think that it will be Frank Mir, but who knows? No one has said to me it's going to be Frank Mir for sure. I asked, I've been pushing, I pushed, I've been trying to get a commitment from somebody, please just tell me it will be Frank Mir, but I think they're being tight lipped about this one.
"I think it will be Frank Mir. I don't see anyone else that can get it. I think Frank Mir will end up getting the shot in the event that Overeem can't get licensed."