Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
After months of speculation, Junior dos Santos' first title defense has finally been made official. The UFC's newest heavyweight champion will meet former Strikeforce, DREAM, and K-1 beltholder Alistair Overeem at the main event of UFC 146, slated for May 26 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
UFC officials confirmed the booking on Tuesday. Tickets for are expected to go on sale later this month.
Dos Santos (14-1) last appeared in the main event of November's UFC on FOX debut, where he soundly defeated Cain Velasquez in just 64 seconds to earn "Knockout of the Night" honors and the UFC heavyweight strap. His victory marked the culmination of a stunning nine fight win streak, eight of which took place under the UFC umbrella and six of which ended in the first round. Throughout that time the 27-year-old dos Santos defeated a who's who of the heavyweight division, including Fabricio Werdum, Stefan Struve, Mirko Cro Cop, Roy Nelson, and Shane Carwin.
Likewise, Overeem (36-11, 1 NC) carries his own 12-fight unbeaten streak into the headlining tilt after collecting championships in nearly every other major MMA promotion, often in violent fashion. Before joining the UFC ranks, the 31-year-old Dutch striker ripped through an impressive run in which he finished eight of nine fights within four minutes against the likes of Mark Hunt, Gary Goodridge, Brett Rogers, and Todd Duffee.
After dropping out of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix due to lingering injuries, Overeem made his long-awaited UFC debut against Brock Lesnar last December, needing just two-and-a-half minutes to floor the former champion with a devastating liver kick.
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