Barring some sort of divine intervention where St. Slobberknocker comes down from above to turn Alistair Overeem’s “B” sample into holy water it seems the only thing “The Demolition Man” will have destroyed by the end of May 2012 is the UFC 146 main event. Scheduled to face heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos for the divisional title, Overeem’s recent hit for testosterone abuse has left the UFC in a unique position where a huge headliner is in limbo with a lack of adequate replacements compounding the issue.
Though Frank Mir is the most logical substitute, UFC President Dana White seems intent on maintaining Mir’s match-up with Cain Velasquez at the same event in order to determine a clear-cut top contender. That being said, to save the Zuffa matchmaking team anymore trouble I’ll provide three solid options the UFC should consider in Overeem’s place who are all relatively available and would make for intriguing adversaries.
Fabricio Werdum – Werdum is the only heavyweight on the UFC’s roster who isn’t booked at UFC 146 and could conceivably be bought as an actual replacement rankings-wise for Overeem. “Vai Cavalo” is 5-2 in his last seven fights with the losses coming to Dos Santos and Overeem, the first of which was far more dominant in nature. He’s currently in line to face Mike Russow in late June, so it would obviously push his camp up, but for a title-shot and chance at redemption against “Cigano” I’m sure the Brazilian would be down to make the adjustment.
Daniel Cormier – This is a stretch since Cormier has Grand Prix commitments in line but sometimes you have to think outside the box when adversity calls. Though perhaps not as deserving, he’s more desirable than Josh Barnett based on his Olympic credentials, non-association with steroids, and lack of negative history with White. He’s also undefeated which never hurts. With Cormier preparing to fight on May 19 the date would work and, perhaps with a little arm-twisting and the promise of a major heavyweight on a Strikeforce card later this year, Showtime could be open to listening.
Dan Henderson – In no way does Henderson deserve a crack at Dos Santos’ championship simply because he beat Fedor Emelianenko and holds wins over a handful of respectable guys in a different division. However, Henderson is a fan-favorite and has said he’d fight JDS if called upon to do so. It would also give him a fight to maintain his activity while he wants for the winner of Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans to heal up for the title-shot he has coming.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC