Alistair Overeem charged

Top UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem has been charged with misdemeanor battery.

The former Strikeforce heavyweight champion faces up to six months in jail if convicted, plus a fine of up to $1,000.

According to Las Vegas police, Overeem allegedly shoved a woman in the face at about 3 a.m. local time Jan. 2 at a Las Vegas Strip casino. The shove from Overeem, who is 6-foot-5 and weighs in excess of 260 pounds, caused the woman to stagger backward.

Overeem, 31, is scheduled to appear Feb. 21 in court.

"Alistair was not arrested, but was summoned to court," Las Vegas-based defense attorney David Chesnoff said in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "There are two sides to this story and we intend on vigorously defending this.

"Alistair maintains his innocence."

The charge was first reported by the Review-Journal.

The alleged incident occurred just a few days after Overeem defeated former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar during a title eliminator at UFC 141 in Las Vegas. Lesnar retired from mixed martial arts competition immediately after the Dec. 30 first-round TKO loss.

Overeem (36-11, 1 no contest) is slated to face current UFC heavyweight titleholder Junior dos Santos. A date for that fight has yet to be announced.

The misdemeanor battery charge isn't the only legal matter confronting Overeem.

Hours before facing Lesnar, Overeem was hit with a civil lawsuit by his former management team, Knock Out Investments, also known as Golden Glory.

The suit alleges that Overeem failed to pay a 30 percent commission to Knock Out Investments following his June 18 victory over Fabricio Werdum during a Strikeforce bout in Dallas.

Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil.