LAS VEGAS – Alistair Overeem (36-11 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will fight UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez (11-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) if he wins at UFC 156.
During a media day in support of Saturday's event, UFC President Dana White confirmed the widely anticipated title scenario, which puts Overeem's opponent, Antonio Silva (17-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC), in the role of spoiler.
UFC 146 takes place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Overeem vs. Silva meet on the event's pay-per-view main card, which follows prelims on FX and Facebook.
Silva, who was supposed to meet Overeem more than a year ago in the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix tournament, isn't fighting for the same prize just yet. He fell to Velasquez on the all-heavyweight main card of UFC 146, which was supposed to feature Overeem against then-champ Junior Dos Santos.
Overeem lost the title shot when a pre-fight drug test came back with elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone levels, and Frank Mir was slotted to face Dos Santos, who went on to win by second-round TKO. The Nevada State Athletic Commission later denied Overeem a license to fight in the state, which effectively benched him for nine months. They relicensed him this past month.
Overeem made his long-awaited UFC debut more than a year ago when he sent former champ Brock Lesnar into retirement with a first-round TKO at UFC 141.
"The Reem" has held belts in the now-defunct Strikeforce and DREAM organizations, as well as in kickboxing, where he won the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix.
Overeem has been vocal about getting a title shot during his layoff and welcomed fights with both Velasquez and Dos Santos, who recently requested an immediate rematch with the champ.
Strikeforce and UFC parent Zuffa cut Overeem after he declined to fight Silva in the semifinals of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix due to an injury. He was then signed to the UFC two months later.