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Morning Report: Alistair Overeem finally ready to face 'gatekeeper' Junior dos Santos

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Will we ever get to see Alistair Overeem fight Junior dos Santos? Maybe.

In the Philippines promoting the UFC's May 16 event in Manilla, Overeem says he hopes to finally set a date against the former heavyweight champion.

The pair have been linked since early last year, but nothing has come together due to Overeem's injury issues.

In February 2014 UFC president Dana White slammed Overeem for rejecting two separate dates to face dos Santos, including a five-round main event in Brazil.

"He wants nothing to do with dos Santos," White said last year. "He's literally hiding from JDS ... but he had no problem calling out Brock Lesnar who hasn't fought in two years and who is in WWE."

Overeem responded saying he had a lingering rib injury, but now it sounds like the bout is finally coming together.

"Actually, my management is talking (with the UFC), and I hope to hear about it this week," Overeem told Bloody Elbow's Anton Tabuena. "About Junior, I can say it's a great fight and it only sounds logical to me because he's not booked for a fight, I'm not booked for a fight. Who else is there? There's not really any option available."

Dos Santos hasn't competed since earning a unanimous decision victory over Stipe Miocic Dec. 13 at UFC on FOX 13. Despite the gutsy performance, dos Santos endured an incredible amount of damage in the bout, sustaining 102 strikes throughout the 25-minute fight.

Calling dos Santos a "gatekeeper" this week, Overeem expects the fight to be booked for 'June, July, or August.'

"I think it's going to be a very interesting fight," said Overeem. "He's a striker and prefers to fight on the feet, as well as I do. But I do believe I am more versatile. I have submissions, I use my legs, I am more strategic now -- especially now that I'm training out of Greg Jackson's, we work a lot on game plans, strategy.

"I just see myself as the better fighter, but still, Junior is still a special case. He's a former champion, he's very tough, and you saw that on his last fight against Stipe. He can take a lot of punishment and even if someone is pushing the pace, he can survive that. In every way, it's a very exciting fight and a very challenging fight personally."



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A video posted by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on


Sounds good.




Get em.





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Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via jaywolf1.

FRIDAY, Ben ASKREN vs 61-9 Luis Santos at ONE Championship: Valor of Champions, Manila.

Hello MMA Fighting Fans!

Thrilled to tell you about my personal favorite promotion ONE Championship happening this Friday that features one of the most compelling & polarizing fighters in the entire world, USA Olympian Ben Askren, and I've included several videos & links for your enjoyment.

FRIDAY...Top10 P4P Welterweight & ONE World Champion Ben "Funky" Askren faces 61-9 Luis "Sapo" Santos at ONE FC 26: Valor of Champions in Manila, Philippines.

Will Askren be able to keep his 4 Fight Finishing Streak alive and continue his undefeated reign in MMA?

Will Santos be able to use ONE FC's Global Ruleset that allows PRIDErules (soccerkicks & knees to grounded opponents) to pull a Buster Douglas move & shock the world?

Tune in & find out at the only World Title Fight in Manila this year.


Check out the rest of the post here.


Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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