In a disappointing turn of events for UFC 160 in May, former K-1 and Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem has been forced out of his scheduled bout against Junior dos Santos.
The Dutch fighter was injured in his training camp and will be out four to five weeks, according to an initial report by MMAFighting.com. Additional sources confirmed the news independently to Bleacher Report on Wednesday.
The injury knocks out one of the prime heavyweight fights of the next few months, especially considering the heated rivalry between Overeem and dos Santos over the last year. This is the second time their fight has been delayed.
Dos Santos and Overeem were originally scheduled to fight at UFC 146 in 2012, but Overeem tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone during a pre-fight drug screening. He was forced out of the bout and was suspended for nine months.
Prior to his fight against Cain Velasquez at UFC 155, when dos Santos was asked about facing Overeem in the future, he took a jab at the former K-1 champion following his 2012 suspension for having elevated levels of testosterone.
“I prefer to fight against those athletes, clean athletes, and real professionals," Dos Santos said.
“Guys like me and Cain Velasquez, we are made in the gym. Guys like the other guy (Alistair Overeem) they are made at the laboratory.”
Overeem took the fight with dos Santos after suffering a loss in his last fight to Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva at UFC 156. It was his first defeat at heavyweight since a 2007 loss to Sergei Kharitonov in Japan.
The nature of Overeem's injury is unknown at this time, but if he is out for at least the next month of training, he has no hope of fighting at UFC 160 on May 25.
No new opponent or plan has been presented by the UFC for former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos at this time, and it's unknown if he will remain on the UFC 160 card.