Last week, news broke that veteran heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem would be competing on the preliminary portion of June 9’s UFC 225 from Chicago in a bout against Curtis Blaydes.
While the event is indeed packed with great fights, the mixed martial arts community took notice of Overeem’s position mainly due to the fact former professional wrestling star Phil “CM Punk” Brooks would be on the main card.
Speaking on the situation at the Liverpool post-fight press conference yesterday (May 27, 2018), White offered an interesting explanation as to how the decision was made:
- “Listen, when Alistair Overeem sells as many pay-per-views as CM Punk does, we can argue,” White said.
Punk, who had never competed in MMA prior to signing with the UFC in 2014, made his promotional debut at UFC 203 in September 2016, losing via a dominant first-round submission. He will now attempt to write the wrongs, as he’s set to take on Mike Jackson at UFC 225 in his hometown.
And as far as Overeem goes, White disagreed with the idea that his place on the card was some sort of demotion, explaining that other big name fighters will also compete on the prelims due to the depth of the card:
- “He was ‘demoted’?,” White said. “If that’s the way you want to look at him, being ‘demoted’, what is Rashad Evans? What is Pettis? There’s guys that could be on the main card that are on the Fight Pass prelims.”
In regards to Punk, the 39-year-old may indeed sell a large number of pay-per-views, but White assumes that his time with the UFC will be done if he once again comes up short at UFC 225:
- “I’m sure it is, yeah,” he said.