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."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Rampage back. Quinton Jackson will indeed face Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186 after having his injunction overturned.
'He says stone age, I say old school.' UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, Luke Rockhold and head trainer Javier Mendez react to comments made by Dana White criticizing their training methods.
Signal to Noise. Luke Thomas gives us the best and worst of UFC on FOX 15.
Fortunes changed for five. Dave Meltzer explains where Luke Rockhold, Ronaldo Souza, Max Holloway, Paige VanZant and Beneil Dariush move forward following UFC on FOX 15.
'It sounds like I got under his skin.' Phil Davis responds to Jon Jones' going-away messages.
Demetrious Johnson wants to see Ronda Rousey out-twerk Paige VanZant.
Battle from the bathroom.
Dana White talks Rampage's re-return on ESPN.
Rashad Evans and Tyron Woodley don't see anyone beating Ronda Rousey.
Michael Bisping's top five KO's.
Rampages 'official fight anthem' sure is something. (via r/MMA)
Chael Sonnen's You're Welcome - Ep 28 - Judge Crosby Returns & Wes Sims Checks In
It's time to pay some bills! The fight is back on boyz! April 25th UFC186!! https://t.co/x0JoYEyLY6— Quinton Jackson (@Rampage4real) April 21, 2015
I had a weird dream now late ... Dream very good .... If anyone knows of something al warns me huh lol
@Sholler_UFC @CMPunk @Cowboycerrone nobody will watch if I'm on there they will— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) April 21, 2015
"@TeamKhabib: @Sholler_UFC @CMPunk @Cowboycerrone nobody will watch if I'm on there will they Sure you can be our first guest &— Cowboy Cerrone (@Cowboycerrone) April 21, 2015
Thanks for @RdosAnjosMMA today I got my belt by mail @arielhelwani @ufc @danawhite @lorenzofertitta @Reebok @akajav pic.twitter.com/pgo7tvjG4U— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) April 22, 2015
@TeamKhabib @arielhelwani @ufc @danawhite @lorenzofertitta @Reebok looks better on me— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) April 22, 2015
@clayguida @seanshelby @danawhite quit playin! #ufc #ThisCouldBeUsBut pic.twitter.com/4I7aa7Kzmx— Chas Skelly (@ChasSkelly) April 21, 2015
Hey Formiga! Why don't we fight it out in your homeland? Let's do it on the 1st August in Rio. Love Brazil @danawhite @JussierFormiga— Ali Bagautinov (@AliPuncherKing) April 21, 2015
Green light GO!! Got the release who wants to see me beat up mr. Tate I mean @BryanCaraway in Chicago? U asked for it now u can have it bud!— Eddie Wineland (@EddieWineland) April 21, 2015
For real though AKA has a chance at 4 titles by year end. I guess everyone should be training in the stone ages! https://t.co/0K2tS9qpdh— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) April 22, 2015
Nage komi judo drills with @pauliepita06 #ufc190 https://t.co/DUPtHtXwlj— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) April 21, 2015
Really happy that I made the top 15, but sadly it only lasted a few minutes. Now all I can think... https://t.co/6yNFLGWhen— Beneil Dariush (@beneildariush_) April 21, 2015
Yesterday morning I weighed 203.9 lbs. drank 3 gallons of water, this morning I weighed 200. Gotta be 185 by Friday, easy :)— michael (@bisping) April 21, 2015
3x3 animal IN-N-OUT > Shake Shack https://t.co/HDwLAC8hml— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) April 21, 2015
Blood test the day after 4/20! Perfect timing I guess pic.twitter.com/BawfNNohfJ— Neil Magny (@NeilMagny) April 21, 2015
Announced yesterday (April 21 2015)
Matt Brown vs. Tim Means at UFC 189
Steve Bosse out, Quinton Jackson vs. Fabio Maldonado at UFC 186
Cheick Kongo vs. Alexander Volkov at Bellator 139
FANPOST OF THE DAY
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.