Two months after having his fighter's license request denied by the Nevada Athletic Commission, Alistair Overeem has broken his silence.
In his first interview since being ruled ineligible after a failed drug test, the heavyweight explained to "UFC Tonight" hosts Todd Harris and Kenny Florian on Tuesday night his reasons for staying out of the public eye.
"When I had the positive test result, I didn't know why that was and I didn't want to talk about something that I didn't know about," said Overeem, who was speaking via satellite from Davie, Fla. "By the time we researched it, I had just gotten out of this situation in front of the commission. To avoid, if we were going to do all the questions which come from the media, that's not going to solve the situation, especially if you didn't know where it comes from or what you're talking about.
"I didn't think that was the right thing to do. So we decided to do research, stay quiet, when we did have the research done we went in front of the commission and we explained our side of the story."
Overeem told his side of the story at a NSAC meeting on April 24 in Las Vegas, saying he had taken anti-inflammatory shots from a Texas doctor, Hector Oscar Molina, without knowing what was in it. A random drug test in March by the commission produced a 14:1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio, well above the acceptable limit. The commission listened to Overeem's testimony and ruled he would not be eligible to apply for his license again until Dec. 27.
Asked on the Fuel TV show Tuesday about the high testosterone ratio, Overeem, who missed out on an opportunity to fight for Junior dos Santos' UFC heavyweight title due to the situation, stuck to his guns.
"Like I explained in front of the commission, this was due to medication I received from a licensed doctor, due to injury," he said. "This caused a spike in my T-E ratio, and, yeah, I did it, took responsibility for it, stepped away from a title fight, and now I'm slowly building up the confidence with the commission by doing random tests, monthly tests, to show that I am a clean fighter, this is my to prove that I am legit"
UFC president Dana White has been vocal about Overeem's situation, repeatedly saying he's angry with the fighter and calling him a liar. Overeem was diplomatic about his boss when asked.
"I have not spoken to Dana personally," he said. "I mean, Dana is a busy man, he's got a company to run and fans to take care of. Basically, I respect Dana, I'm going to convince Dana through my actions I am a legit fighter and do the random tests. I'm very sure that this situation cannot happen again.
Overeem, who is now living in Miami, has taken the initiative to undergo his own random testing. He hasn't revealed details about the tests, such is where they're being taken and who is overseeing them, but he says he's doing it as a way to prove he's cleaned up his act.
"What I want to show the world is that I am a clean fighter, I'll do these tests on my own. One test doesn't say anything. If I do these tests every 3-4 weeks, then you prove to everyone that you are clean, the medical staff is observing you taking the test, so there's no foul play involved. ... What I'm hoping to achieve is that I can prove to the world that I am a clean fighter. I'm doing it for myself as well as for the fans. For me, myself, my fans, for the commission, I am a clean fighter.
"I know I have a lot of support and would like to take the opportunity to thank fans who have voiced that support, emails, tweets from people all over the world from people who say they want to see me back in there," said Overeem. "For you guys, I'm training every day to improve my game. When I'm back in there, hopefully in December, hopefully for the title, I'm going to show the world I'm No. 1."