Forty years, sixty-six fights: Alistair Overeem is an MMA legend who shone wherever he has gone. But who has by no means received the UFC heavyweight belt. Opposed to Russian Alexander Volkov this weekend in Las Vegas in the “main event” of the UFC Fight Night (dwell and solely on RMC Sport 1 to 2 hours in the night time from Saturday to Sunday), the Dutchman must win to maintain his dream of a title combat intact earlier than he bowed out.
When he first fought in MMA, France had been world soccer champions for simply over a 12 months. We’re not speaking about 2018, eh, however 1998. More than twenty years after its debut, Alistair Overeem continues to make the powder communicate together with his fists, his toes and his knees. With one last quest in the sights from the prime of his forty springs: conquer the heavyweight belt of UFC, which has all the time eluded him till then.
“As Dana White mentioned, it is a younger males’s sport. Even although I nonetheless love this sport and every thing that goes with it, that I nonetheless love to coach, I additionally should be real looking: my time is coming to an finish, admits the Dutchman born in England in a video printed by the UFC. I wish to make this last run as a result of I consider that it’s my future to hunt this UFC title. The time has come. “
If you don’t know his name, let us do the introductions: Alistair Overeem is an MMA legend. And the word is not overused. Sixty-six fights on the clock (47-18, 1 No Contest) and titles in shambles. Introduced to combat sports as a teenager by his older brother, himself a professional fighter Valentijn, who took him to the Chris Dolman coach room to teach him how to defend himself (he hated it at first), “The Demolition Man “started his career in kickboxing in 1997, before a first pro MMA fight in October 1999. Since then he has fought almost everywhere, from the mythical PRIDE in Japan – he wanted to” observe in the footsteps “of Valentijn who fought there when he was “fifteen-sixteen” – from UFC juggernaut to Strikeforce or DREAM.
The list of fighters fallen under his blows reads like a who’s who of some of the biggest names in history: Fabricio Werdum, Vitor Belfort and Mark Hunt, all three beaten twice, but also former UFC champions Andrei Arlovski, Junior Dos Santos, Frank Mir and Brock Lesnar, the man who “motivated him to hitch the UFC” in 2011. He was headlining the UFC premiere at his home in the Netherlands, in May 2016, for his victory over Arlovski. He won heavyweight belts at Strikeforce and DREAM. Trained at the Dutch school of kickboxing and muay-thai, famous for having shaped many great champions of the discipline, he also won the K-1 World Grand Prix in 2010.
Enough to become one of the only two fighters in history to win a world title in MMA and K-1 and the only one to have held three belts simultaneously in these disciplines (Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1). All with a background that makes him one of the most complete heavyweights in history, able to finish fights on KO / TKO (25) or submission (17), ultra dangerous with his knee strikes / kicks Kick to the body and his fists but also with his “guillotine” with which he had beaten everyone to win in his category at the 2005 European “grappling submission” championship ADCC.
On the road, he has of course experienced a few pilings, several defeats against other legends (Chuck Liddell, Fabricio Werdum, Mauricio Rua twice and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira twice too) or even a KO remained in the legend inflicted by the overpowered Francis Ngannou in December 2017, but it’s impossible not to live with such a journey.
He did everything, what, except one thing: to become the UFC heavyweight champion. Yet he had his chance. In 2012, after his victory over Lesnar, he had to face the Junior champion Dos Santos – whom he would beat three years later – but tested positive (testosterone / epitestosterone ratio at 14/1 against a permitted limit of 6/1) a few weeks before and must say goodbye to combat. With three losses in his next four fights, the challenger position recedes but a series of four successes punctuated by Arlovski in Rotterdam gives him the right to face new champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 203 in September 2016. Si the Dutchman manages to put the American on the ground thanks to his left, Miocic recovers quickly and concludes the deal with a knockout in the last minute of the first round. His luck has passed.
“No actual strain”
We have not given him another since because he has never chained more than two victories. But this time, he wants to believe it. After two successes over Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai in May and September 2020, each time on TKO, Overeem rose to fifth place in the UFC heavyweight standings and can chain a third victory in a row this Saturday night against Russian Alexander ” Drago “Volkov, former Bellator and M-1 champion and sixth in the same classification. Considering the oppositions to come in the category in the coming weeks, with Gane-Rozenstruik, Blaydes-Lewis and Miocic-Ngannou for the belt, such a success would put him in the right car. This would not guarantee a new fight for the title, because there are people at the gate (we do not forget Jon Jones who goes up to the heavyweights), and he himself admits not knowing how many more victories would be necessary. to get it. But it would be a little closer.
Conversely, a defeat would put an end to this last dream and could make him think about retirement. Did you say pressure? As a wise old man of MMA, he prefers to dismiss it. “I have the benefit of the combat and in every thing round it so there isn’t any actual strain, he launched this Thursday at a press conference. There is all the time a little bit of it, of course, however I’m having fun with the second as a result of I do know it would not assist enhance efficiency. We will combat on Saturday and we’ll see what occurs after. “The person concerned knows it well, the twilight of his career is approaching:” I have already got moments after I look again and I ponder how I might have finished all that. I hope I made folks smile, and typically made them cry. When you take a look at all of it, it has been a loopy journey. “With everything he’s done, we’d love to see it end with one last fight for a belt. The UFC one. He deserved it.