Fighting JDS Not the Right Move for Alistair Overeem

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2014

Feb 1, 2014; Newark, NJ, USA; Alistair Overeem (blue gloves) before his fight against Frank Mir (not pictured) during UFC169 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Alistair Overeem saved his job by defeating Frank Mir at UFC 169.

Overeem looked the best he has in years. He seemed lighter, more active on his feet and had more cardio. All positive signs for the heavyweight as he tries to move back into title contention.

Following the fight, Twitter seemed to favor a fight between Overeem and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos.

That potential fight once had a lot of fanfare surrounding it. The two were scheduled to meet in a title fight at UFC 146, but a failed pre-fight drug test saw him take a year's long suspension. He was not able to challenge for the title.

When Overeem returned, the division had changed. Cain Velasquez reclaimed the UFC Heavyweight Championship, and he was set to take on Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva for the chance to challenge for the gold.

After dominating the fight for two rounds, Overeem tired. Meanwhile Silva came on strong and then finished Overeem in the third. Overeem then returned six months later against Travis Browne. Once again, Overeem was winning early but faded. Browne got the KO, and Overeem was on the brink of losing his job.

Dos Santos is in no position to challenge for the belt anytime soon, but he is also the No. 1-ranked fighter in the division behind the champion. A fight with Overeem right now serves neither man, nor the UFC, any benefit.

It does not have the luster it had in 2012, the winner is not a title contender and it is a hard fight to shove both men into at this juncture.

Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Junior Dos Santos (blue gloves) fights against Cain Velasquez (not pictured) in the world heavyweight championship bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

For Dos Santos, he is coming off a massive beating at the hands of Velasquez. Does the UFC want to put him in the cage with Overeem right away? It makes little sense. Dos Santos should work his way back up slowly.

Meanwhile, Overeem just picked up his first win since 2011. Should he be thrust into a fight against the No. 1-ranked fighter in the division with no title shot imminent on the other side?

The fight simply does not make sense right now. There are plenty of fans that would like to see it, and it has the ingredients to be incredibly fun, but it is not the right time to make the fight.

This is a tricky time for the UFC, but it is also a time they can pick and chose opponents for these two popular fighters. Velasquez is out with an injury, and the next title challengers—Travis Browne and Fabricio Werdum—are locked into a title eliminator soon. There is no rush to make the next contender after them.

The UFC needs to foster both Dos Santos and Overeem.

There is no rush to make this fight happen. It is not the right time for this potential top-10 bout, and both fighters need to take their time in building up to another run at the title.