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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
With Alistair Overeem's positive test for an elevated T/E ratio in the last week, there's been a lot of discussion about who could replace him at UFC 146 if he's ultimately denied a license with the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
One name that has gained some traction online is Mark Hunt, who has made an improbable run in the UFC's heavyweight division with a three fight winning streak. While he may or may not be realistically in the running for a shot at the UFC Heavyweight Championship, Hunt certainly has an opinion on Overeem's positive drug test.
The New Zealand native actually faced Overeem before, losing by submission in a 2008 bout in DREAM, and with the questions people had of Overeem's physique even then getting confirmation in the court of public opinion, Hunt did not hold back with how he felt about the situation this week.
"Drugs in all sports is a big problem," Hunt said in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour (transcribed by BJPenn.com). "It's a cutthroat business, people take this sh** just to get by. I don't use that sh**, but when Alistair takes that sh** or whoever takes it they just screw themselves out. Like when Barnett screwed himself out of the fight with Fedor."
"But who am I too judge anybody. I don't take that sh** and no one else should. If they do, that's on them. Alistair is now in court, and everything that Alistair has done is meaningless now. At the end of the day he just got caught cheating, so what's the deal? I lost to him, so did he use that sh** when I was fighting him? That's on him, he has to live with that sh** not me. It's not my position to judge him, he has to look himself in the mirror. At the end of the day, I don't give a crap who's taking what. The steroids are not going to help them when I hit them. Take as much as you like, I don't care."
Penick's Analysis: There's a bit of vitriol mixed in with his comments about not judging, but he's not going to be the only one with this opinion. Many have felt Overeem's been using PEDs for years, and for those critics this positive test is validation even before Overeem attempts to explain it. Even if he's never done anything in his life, except possibly this time and getting caught, many would still hold onto the belief that he's been simply beating the tests his entire career. It's a really bad spot Overeem is in, and very few are going to be understanding or believing whatever reasoning is given when he meets with the NSAC this month. As for Hunt, there are other fighters like him who have given the line that it doesn't matter to them who's taking what, and they've unfortunately come to expect it as part of the game.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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