Overeem cleared for UFC return

Brett Okamoto
January 9, 2013
Alistair Overeem will return to action in February © Getty Images

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has voted unanimously in favour of handing UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem a licence for a scheduled bout against Antonio Silva on February 2.

Overeem was denied a license in Nevada after testing positive for an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio during a random drug test on March 27. He was eligible to reapply before the commission on December 27.

"I'm very happy to inform you guys I got licensed to fight February 2 in the UFC," said Overeem, who attended the NSAC meeting. "I'm basically in shape, now it's just a couple more weeks of grinding, then it's going to be showtime again."

Overeem had been scheduled to face Junior dos Santos for the UFC heavyweight title on May 26, but withdrew from the bout following the positive drug test.

In the time since his licence application was denied, Overeem underwent voluntary drug testing. Results from a test taken on November 14 came back negative.

The NSAC also conducted its own tests. Urine and blood samples were taken on November 16 and December 21, both of which came back negative, according to executive director Keith Kizer.

During a meeting in April, Overeem testified under oath that the positive test in March was caused by an anti-inflammatory mixture prescribed to him by a personal physician to treat a rib injury.

"I think we did everything we could to correct ourselves from the errors that were made," Overeem told the commission. "I'm ready to get my life back on track."

The NSAC attempted to test Overeem out of competition before a fight against Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 in December 2011. The commission ran into issues when Overeem left the country to visit family in Holland.

A discussion took place between the NSAC and Overeem on Tuesday regarding his experience with international drug testing. Commissioner Skip Avansino acknowledged that testing fighters overseas has been "a challenge."

Overeem (36-11) is a former heavyweight champion of Strikeforce, Dream and K-1. His bout against Silva will take place on the main card of UFC 156, which is scheduled to be at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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