UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos will face Cain Velasquez on Dec. 29 at UFC 155. Apparently, the next challenger for the belt has already been determined, according to UFC president Dana White: former K-1 and Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem.
White made the announcement during an interview with Ariel Helwani during the aftermath of UFC 153 this past weekend. However, he did leave the door open for some changes to that plan, saying, “Yes, that’s what we’re thinking. We’ll see how this thing plays out and what happens. Nothing is done. Nothing is etched in stone, but that’s what I’d like to see happen.”
Overeem is currently serving a suspension of one year from competing in mixed martial arts. This suspension was imposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after a surprise drug test during the leadup to UFC 146 this past May found elevated testosterone levels in his system. Overeem was originally scheduled to face Dos Santos for the title at that event; after the failed drug test, Frank Mir stepped in as a replacement and was knocked out by Dos Santos in the second round.
Overeem will be cleared to fight again after Dec. 27 of this year. According to White, any fight between him and either Dos Santos or Velasquez would most likely take place sometime in the spring of 2013. He currently holds a record of 36 wins and 11 losses with one no contest. He was last defeated in September of 2007, and has not lost for his past 12 fights straight.