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Alistair Overeem Accepted Antonio Silva Fight To Avoid Any More “Ring Rust”

Former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem doesn’t want to sit and wait for a title shot through the early portion of 2013. With Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez set to meet at the end of the year, the prospects of Overeem not fighting until the summer seemed strong.

Instead, Overeem agreed to meet Antonio Silva at UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar in February. The match will be made official once Overeem is cleared by the Nevada Athletic Commission following a suspension.

“It’s been a year since I fought, so you’ve got to consider ring rust,” said Overeem, in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun. “You need to have the experience as much as possible. Being out for 18 months would not have been positive.”

Overeem last competed in December of 2011, defeating Brock Lesnar. He was set to meet dos Santos earlier this year, but a pre-fight drug test came back positive. “The Reem” was eventually suspended from applying for his fight license, but is expected to receive it once he re-applies in early 2013.

As for that upcoming heavyweight showdown at UFC 155: Dos Santos vs. Velasquez II, Overeem remains in the corner of Velasquez, saying, “(Dos Santos’) is going to get ground-and-pounded. I think he’s going to have his hands full with Cain. He’s going to lose.”