View Full Version : Alistair Overeem - interview

10-11-2010, 19:24
Alistair Overeem - interview


Strikeforce heavyweight champion and K-1 superstar, “The Demolition Man” Alistair Overeem recently talked with PDG about the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix, Fedor Emelianenko and Fabricio Werdum, the heavyweight divisions, Jerome Le Banner and when fans can expect to him defend his belt in Strikeforce.

PDG: How has the opening of Golden Glory's gym in Pattaya, Thailand impacted your training? The blend of Dutch-Thai boxing and Thailand's style must be interesting.

Alistair Overeem: Yes, it’s awesome. Having a training camp under other conditions is very good. We can adapt to the time zones and the weather. So it’s a great preparation to be training in Thailand.

PDG: With Fedor Emelianenko’s loss to Fabricio Werdum, are you currently more interested in fighting Fedor or avenging your prior loss to Fabricio?

Alistair Overeem: I’ve stated many times that I would like the fight the winner of the match Werdum vs. Fedor. So my answer is Werdum, this doesn’t means that I don’t want to fight Fedor but we have to stick to logical thinking and Werdum deserves the title contender position. If a fight with Werdum is not possible then Fedor is a good opponent. You know what though? I don’t really care whom I will be fighting.

PDG: A majority of attention paid to the heavyweight division goes to the UFC, who now has a reasonably deep roster at that weight class. Besides yourself, Fedor, Werdum, Josh Barnett, and a select few, the heavyweight division appears fairly thin outside of the promotion. What consideration have you given to signing with the US-based promotion (UFC)?

Alistair Overeem: I have to disagree, because I honestly think that the top 5 in the heavyweight division can hang and even win against the top 5 UFC heavyweight fighters. You can have 100 heavyweight fighters on your roster but then again you need quality fighters. Having Fedor, Werdum, Barnett, Sergei Kharitonov, Antonio Silva and myself in the top 5, we can easily fight against the top 5 UFC, that’s for sure. Then you have more good heavyweight fighters and prospects like; Andrei Arlovski, Brett Rogers, Shane del Rosario and Lavar Johnson. So there are still many interesting fights for me in Strikeforce.

PDG: Did you take anytime off to relax after your victory at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final 16 (http://www.punchdrunkgamer.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6931) over Ben Edwards?

Alistair Overeem: No, not very much, maybe a week or so. I will start training this week, yesterday I had my first training session. There is not much time left between now and the 11th of December, so after the K-1 final and maybe the Dynamite show I will take a holiday.

PDG: What are your thoughts on your upcoming opponent, Tyrone Spong? Were you able to see his recent win over Ray Sefo and how do you see the fight going?

Alistair Overeem: He’s a dangerous opponent with a lot of technique, but then again we know each other pretty well as we have trained for many years. His win over Ray Sefo wasn’t very surprising because Ray took the fight on short notice and has an age disadvantage. It will be a good fight that’s for sure!


PDG: If the fight goes well, do you want to fight again on New Year's Eve?

Alistair Overeem: Yes, I would love to fight on Dynamite if I don’t have any injuries.

PDG: What do you think about the possibility of facing one of your Golden Glory (http://www.goldenglory.com/) teammates in the K-1 Grand Prix (either Gokhan Saki or Semmy Schilt)?

Alistair Overeem: It’s unfortunate but there is a big chance that it will happen. We are professionals and we know such a thing can happen. Sometimes we almost kill each other in the ring, so it will be just another sparring session; the only difference is that we will go for the KO.

PDG: Do have any thoughts on how the Jerome Le Banner and Kyotaro fight ended?

Alistair Overeem: It was not professional what Le Banner did but sometimes emotions take over. He thought he won the fight and probably knew that he would have lost the extra round and reacted like that.

PDG: What are your plans and expectations for next year?

Alistair Overeem: After my K-1 adventure, I will take a deserved holiday and then hope to be in the cage around May in Strikeforce.

PDG: At this point in your career, in mixed martial arts or kickboxing, what has been your most memorable fight and why?

Alistair Overeem: There so many, my first fight because I was a major underdog against Ricardo Fyeet, then there is my 2h2h world championship fight against Rodney Faverus and then you have my Pride Grand Prix fights against Vitor Belfort and Igor Vovchanchyn. My Strikeforce title fights against Paul Buentello and Brett Rogers and my fight against Badr Hari is memorable because it kick started my K-1 career.

PDG: How do you reflect on your career at 205lbs. and do you wish you would have made the move to heavyweight sooner?

Alistair Overeem: No, I still think my career at 205lbs. is something to be proud of. Although I lost to some top fighters I always did well. I learned a lot at that weight and going to heavyweight at that time was the perfect timing. Fighting at 205lbs. is way different and if I didn’t have that experience I would be a different heavyweight fighter.

PDG: Thanks for your time; do you have any final words before your fight on December 11th, or any sponsors you would like to mention?

Alistair Overeem: Your welcome, check my online documentary at www.alistairovereem.com (http://www.alistairovereem.com/) and I would love to thank my sponsors; Fight Game, Hayabusa, Hostility and Fulltilt Poker.

10-11-2010, 19:31
Ben Cord - Alistair, you're the Strikeforce Heavyweight champ and it's unclear when we'll see you defend your belt again.. Fabricio Verdum first wanted a rematch with Fedor and now has decided to have elbow surgery, which will sideline him till early 2011. Is it frustrating not knowing who or when you'll fight?

Alistair Overeem - No not really, as long as I have opportunities to fight then I’m OK with it. Strikeforce gave me the opportunity to fight Antonio Silva but I choose K-1 instead.

Ben Cord - Why did you choose K-1 over fighting Silva?

Alistair Overeem -I have stated many times that one of my goals was to become K-1 champion. K-1 is in our country Holland very popular and it's a big opportunity to become the first person that holds two world titles in two different sports. That is one of my goals, furthermore the K-1 final is always in December and I was automatically qualified for the final 16 because of my third place last year. All those things made me choose K-1 over Silva.

Ben Cord - Do you think Strikeforce is contributing to the problem by seemingly letting the fighters decide who they want to fight next?

Alistair Overeem - No not really, M-1 is the big reason why there is so much drama in the heavyweight division because of their co-promotion rights. They choose who Fedor is going to fight. We all know that M-1 believes their own lies because they still are saying the fans want Werdum vs Fedor. You and I know that the fans want to see Fedor vs me. They change their opinions so many times it's unclear for all parties involved; Strikeforce, Showtime, Antonio Silva, Werdum and Myself etc. If Fedor and M-1 just did the logical thing they would let Fedor fight Antonio Silva in December/ January, then everybody is happy!

Ben Cord - Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva was quoted recently as saying that you're afraid to fight him. Although, Silva is trying to get your attention, he is a legit contender and since nobody else is stepping up,one can argue deserves a title shot. Do you have any interest in fighting Silva?

Alistair Overeem - Which argument can be made for him to deserve a title shot? The only argument can be made if Werdum and Fedor both having injuries. Fedor is ready to fight, he challenged me so he can fight. I was only trying to be logical and therefore Silva needs to fight Fedor. They are number 3 and 4 in the organization. Silva saying I’m afraid to fight him it’s crazy(laughs). If it makes him feel better then I will admit it; I’m afraid to fight Silva (laughs)

Ben Cord - Strikeforce recently signed your brother, Valentijn. Would you fight him if Strikeforce matched you up? Where do you think Valentijn ranks in the Strikeforce HW division right now?

Alistair Overeem - No I'm not going to fight him of course. He's my brother not my teammate. I heard there was a debate about fighting teammates and if a fight should happen because the fans or promoter wants it I will fight a teammate but family is ridiculous. My mother wouldn't even allow it. (laughs). My brother has the potential to become one of the top guys within Strikeforce, he had a very busy personal life therefore he wasn't training as hard as he should but if he's going to pick up his training he will be a danger for every fighter.

Ben Cord -You were on target to potentially be the first guy to beat Fedor. Then Werdum pulls the upset. Has the fight with Fedor lost its appeal to you or has the lack of respect from his manager, Vadim Finkelsteim still fuel that fire?


Alistair Overeem - No, people are making it more difficult than it is. I went to attend the Fedor vs Werdum fight and told publicly in the camera that I would fight the winner. So Werdum won the fight so I’m going to fight Werdum. Now all of sudden Werdum made the comment that he wanted a rematch with Fedor and M-1 wanted to fight Werdum instead of me. I was OK, then I will fight K-1. The whole soap could be avoided when people just stick to logical thinking.

Ben Cord - One person that enjoyed Fedor's defeat was Dana White. White has always claimed that he as the best heavyweight in the world in Brock Lesnar. If the opportunity presents itself how do you think you'd matchup with Lesnar?

Alistair Overeem -That would be a awesome fight. Brock is a big powerful wrestler and I’m more of a stand up fighter. It would be a classical wrestler versus kickboxing fight.

Ben Cord - Do you think you can beat Lesnar?

Alistair Overeem - I think I can beat anybody (laughs)

Ben Cord - You fight out of the legendary Golden Glory gym in Holland that has produced some of the toughest fighters in the world. What makes your gym so successful?

Alistair Overeem - We have a big group of heavyweights that can train together. There are not many heavyweight fighters to come by so having so many sparring partners is a big luxury a lot of other fighters don’t have.

Ben Cord - Take us though an average training day for the Demolition Man. I'm sure your trainers Cor Hemmers and Martijn De Jong never take it easy on you!

Alistair Overeem - It’s very difficult to say because every training is different, you have got your weight training, condition training, sparring training etc. But I can tell you this; on Wednesday we have a big Golden Glory training and it's called “Wednesday Meat training”. It’s not a correct translation but it means that on that day we have some crazy sparring in the gym. That is the day some people are seriously going to get hurt, including myself.

Ben Cord - Are there any young fighters out of Golden Glory that we should look out for in the States?

Alistair Overeem - Most of the people you already know like Marloes Coenen and shooto world champion Siyar Bahadurzada. Siyar is going to have his debut and he’s going to be good, trust me. Then we have Nieky Holzken and Gokhan Saki that are world class strikers that are training on the ground for some time and I hope they will get there break at a M.M.A. show. They will prove that their striking is from another level.


Ben Cord - Alistair, thanks so much for taking time out to do this interview and good luck in December. Do you have any sponsors you'd like to mention or websites you'd like to promote?

Alistair Overeem - I would like to thank all my fans for supporting me. I like to thank Hayabusa, Full Tilt Poker and Hostility for sponsoring my K-1 final 16 fight and check my online documentary on Alistair Overeem - An Online Documentary (http://www.alistairovereem.com)

11-11-2010, 01:21
Thnx Slome.

11-11-2010, 11:26
Mooi interview, thanks Slome!

The Bulldog
11-11-2010, 17:19