By Ryan Frederick, WrestlingObserver.com
A long-awaited heavyweight bout between former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem will serve as the co-main event of UFC On FOX 17 in Orlando, Florida on December 19. UFC officials announced the bout today on Twitter.
Dos Santos and Overeem have previously been scheduled to fight before, at UFC 146 in May 2012 when Dos Santos held the UFC Heavyweight Championship. However, Overeem was pulled from the bout after he was avoiding a drug test from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Dos Santos instead faced Frank Mir, making his only successful title defense when he scored a TKO over Mir in the second round.
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The two have been long-rumored to be fighting, but injuries have slowed the booking of the bout. They were slated to fight at UFC 160 in May 2013, but Overeem pulled out due to an injury. Dos Santos has been out of action since scoring a decision win over Stipe Miocic at UFC On FOX 13 in December. The fight in December will be only Dos Santos’ second fight since losing a trilogy bout with Cain Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight Championship at UFC 166 in October 2013. Meanwhile, Overeem has won two straight bouts and is looking at a potential title shot with a win over Dos Santos.
UFC On FOX 17 will be headlined by a UFC Lightweight Championship bout as Rafael Dos Anjos makes his first title defense against the top contender, Donald Cerrone. Also on the card is a lightweight bout between Michael Johnson and Nate Diaz, which was announced by the UFC last night.