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By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
It seems likely that Alistair Overeem is going to be removed from his title fight against UFC Heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 146. It wouldn't be impossible for Overeem's B sample to come back negative if he wanted it tested, but it's highly unlikely that it would be different than his A sample. If only Overeem could count on a tester to make a mistake in handling the samples so he could get off on a technicality and cheat the system like NL MVP Ryan Braun did recently. That's probably not going to happen, though, and his TRT defense may not work, so the UFC needs a back-up plan.
Dan Henderson recently said that he would be open to fighting dos Santos, and I think the UFC should take that and run with it. The UFC has said that Cain Velasquez vs. Frank Mir at UFC 146 is still happening; that means that there's no one in the heavyweight division who can seriously lay claim to a title shot. Why not Dan Henderson?
The only other scenario I would go with is to wait until after UFC 145 to see what happens in the fight between Rashad Evans and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones. If the winner of that fight were to emerge unscathed I would say to give them the right of first refusal. However, there is a high likelihood of some sort of injury, not matter how minor, during fights so this would be an extreme longshot.
I can think of several reason why I would want to see this fight and no reason to not have it. In fact, the only reason anyone could come up with would be that Henderson isn't a heavyweight. If he (Henderson) doesn't care, why should we? Can anyone name a fighter who deserves a title shot above all others?
At Bellator 64 Ben Askren retained his Bellator Welterweight belt against Douglas Lima. Askren gets a lot of flak for having a boring fighting style. I feel as though this has become a meme of sorts, that complaining about a boring style means that you want the guy to act as though he's in a barroom brawl. That's not what people want, they just want action.
I don't care if Ben Askren takes every one of his opponents down, as long as he's actively trying to win the fight. If he's staying busy, that's all anyone can ask for. I expect a fighter to do everything he can to win the fight, whether that means trying to win by knockout or submission. I don't expect Askren to stand with Lima, or other fighters who could knock him out. That would be a foolish way for him to fight.
What I do expect Askren to do is to take his opponent down, work towards better position, then look to finish him with a submission or TKO. If Askren does that, no one should ever criticize him. For the record, I do think that Askren could do a better job of trying to finish his opponents, but that he also does much more than he needs to in order to win. I think Askren needs better opponents in order to reach his potential.
Comments and suggestions can be e-mailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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