Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva will face off at UFC 156, provided Overeem is cleared to competed by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Promotion officials announced the booking late Tuesday night. Overeem is currently serving a nine-month suspension handed down by the NAC in April after “The Demolition Man” failed a pre-fight drug test ahead of a planned UFC 146 title confrontation with champion Junior dos Santos. Overeem will be eligible to reapply for a license on Dec. 27.
UFC 156 takes place Feb. 2 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The event will also feature former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar debuting at 145 pounds, when “The Answer” challenges Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight crown.
Overeem and Silva were initially expected to collide in the semifinals of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix last year before Overeem withdrew from the booking. Instead, “Pezao” made his final Strikeforce appearance 14 months ago against alternate and eventual grand prix winner Daniel Cormier, who knocked out Silva in 3:56.
Silva debuted in the UFC on May 26, suffering a brutal, first-round technical knockout to ex-champion Cain Velasquez. The 33-year-old recently halted his skid, however, as Silva stopped previously unbeaten Travis Browne with a flurry of blows last month at UFC on FX 5.
Overeem has not lost in more than five years. The 32-year-old captured the Strikeforce heavyweight title in 2007, defending the belt once successfully while also competing outside the promotion under the K-1, Dream and Glory World Series banners. “The Reem” made his Octagon foray nearly one year ago, knocking out former heavyweight champion and ex-WWE star Brock Lesnar at UFC 141.