UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem today applied for a license to fight in Nevada in 2013, an official told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps
But before he is given the green light, he will need to appear before the state's athletic commission, which will weigh several options before making a decision.
"He will be required per his previous denial to appear before the full commission at the next scheduled meeting, which is Jan. 8," Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer told MMAjunkie.com.
Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is scheduled to meet Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (17-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at UFC 156, which takes place Feb. 2 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. But he is not a shoo-in for the booking, which puts him on the night's pay-per-view main card.
"It will be his burden to prove to commissioners that he should be granted a license to compete in Nevada," Kizer said. "After hearing all relevant evidence, the commission will have the option to deny the license, grant the license unconditionally, or grant the license with conditions."
Thus far, Overeem has met all those ends. In 2007, he was licensed to fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at PRIDE 33. Four years later, he received a conditional license to fight Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. But it was his most recent dealing with the commission that temporarily sapped his career.
One month before Overeem's title fight against champ Junior Dos Santos in May at UFC 146, the NSAC denied him a license when a pre-fight drug test turned up with a severely elevated level of testosterone. The fighter said he unknowingly took a concoction that contained the hormone while attempting to recover from an injury. Although drawing sympathy from some commissioners, he was nonetheless barred from reapplying until today.
The denial was another blow to Overeem's image as a clean athlete. Prior to the Lesnar fight, he missed a pre-fight drug test, and said he was unaware of it and had to leave the country to care for his sick mother. Upon granting him the conditional license, the commission required him to undergo a total of four drug tests to fulfill its terms.
It's possible at the Jan. 8 hearing that additional testing could be ordered for Overeem should he be licensed.
Overeem, who retired ex-UFC champ Lesnar with a first-round TKO win, repeatedly has denied using performance-enhancing drugs.