UFC boss: Junior Dos Santos-Cain Velasquez II targeted for Dec. 29 card in Vegas
by Matt Erickson and John Morgan on Aug 12, 2012 at 3:00 am ET
DENVER – Junior Dos Santos may have a bigger bone to pick with Alistair Overeem than with Cain Velasquez, but that will have to wait.
Dos Santos, the UFC's heavyweight champion, is expected to next defend his title Dec. 29 at the promotion's year-end pay-per-view in Las Vegas. UFC President Dana White late Saturday confirmed the planned matchup following the post-event news conference for UFC 150 in Denver.
While the UFC's traditional year-end show has not yet been announced, the heavyweight title tilt will headline what is likely to be UFC 155 at either the MGM Grand Garden Arena or Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Dos Santos (15-1 MMA, 9-0 UFC) was scheduled to face Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) this past May, but Overeem tested for elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels and was essentially suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for nine months. At UFC 146, Dos Santos defended his title against Frank Mir, while Velasquez (10-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) beat Antonio Silva to become the top contender with Overeem unavailable at least until the end of 2012.
Earlier this month, White said at a recent meeting with Dos Santos, the champ told him he would prefer to face Overeem instead of Velasquez.
"He's the nicest guy in the world," White said of Dos Santos. "But he said, 'I have nothing but respect for Cain Velasquez. I like him as a person and as a fighter, and I think he deserves the shot at the title. But I do not want to fight him,' which is not what he said a month ago. He said, 'Alistair Overeem is a punk. He's got a big mouth, and he's been saying lots of bad things about me, and I want to knock him out. I want to knock him out now.'"
Overeem is out until at least Dec. 27, when he becomes eligible to reapply for a license with the NSAC. But Saturday, White said he doesn't believe there's any shot of Overeem getting licensed to fight on the Dec. 29 show – and that Dos Santos-Velasquez II will go down on the card.
Dos Santos this past November knocked out Velasquez to win the title at UFC on FOX 1.
In July, Overeem told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that Dos Santos was afraid to fight him .
"He can talk all he wants," Overeem said. "I know he's very happy that fight didn't happen, and I know he's afraid to fight me. He also knows that I'm the biggest threat out there to him. He knows when he fights me, there's no escape from it.
"He's going to hit and run, or he's going to go down. Either way, he's going to leave that octagon a loser."
That talked riled up Dos Santos, and White said he was at least considering his champion's request. But the original plan that was hatched after UFC 146 will remain intact. Overeem likely will remain sidelined and be given first crack at the winner.
For more on the UFC's year-end show, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.