Alistair Overeem: My main focus is on winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament (Exclusive Interview)


Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair “The Demolition Man”, “The Reem”, “Megareem”, “Ubereem” Overeem will step inside the Strikeforce cage for the first time this year, facing the man who already beat him back in Pride – Fabricio Werdum. Last year was the best in Overeem’s career, as the Dutch phenom defended his Strikeforce Heavyweight Title by brutalizing Brett Rogers, finally conquered the K-1 World GP and became the first DREAM Heavyweight Champion.

Alistair Overeem was voted MMA Fighter of the Year on, currently occupying 8th position in website’s community P4P rankings. Here’s what Alistair Overeem had to say about the upcoming bout against Fabricio Werdum, UFC heavyweights and competing in Boxing.

Feel free to follow Alistair Overeem on Twitter @Alistairovereem, and don’t forget to “like” his page on Facebook.

The fight against Fabricio Werdum is just one month away. Can you talk about your training camp for this fight, and how it’s different from the previous ones you had for Brett Rogers and Todd Duffee?
There’s not much different expect that we train for a different opponent. I’ve been training with John Olav Einemo a lot, by the way.

Fabricio Werdum was the first (technically second) man to defeat Fedor. Do you think that maybe with victory over Werdum you will prove your superiority over Fedor as well?
No. You can’t use mathematics in fighting. You have to fight the person yourself to say that you are the better man. But I have to agree that a win over Werdum will close the debate if I’m a Top 10 fighter or not.

Do you think that maybe at some point Fabricio Werdum became overconfident following his victory over Fedor Emelianenko. Also, what do you think about him always saying “Alistair Overeem is my son”?
Werdum is a professional fighter and he will be confident but not overconfident. I heard him saying that I’m his son, but I don’t understand what he really means. I think he means that he’s superior than me, because he beat me a couple of years ago. I think it’s a lost in translation thing.

It will be your first fight this year, comparing to 7 (MMA and K-1 combined) fights in 2010. How do you feel about having a relatively long layoff?
I liked it. After my fight against Todd Duffee I could go on a holiday and enjoy life, instead of being in the gym all the time. So it gave my body a good rest and that was needed.

With K-1 WGP belt already around your waist, do you think about testing yourself in Boxing?
No, not really. My goal is to become the best MMA fighter and that’s what my focus is. Boxing is a whole different sport and you shouldn’t take it lightly. If there are no challenges left in my career, then I can consider something like that. But for now, there are plenty challenges.

UFC and Strikeforce are now under the same umbrella. What do you think about fighters such as Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, dos Santos and of course the Champion Cain Velasquez? How soon do you want to fight in the UFC?
My main focus is on winning the Strikeforce tournament, so UFC is not on my mind right now. I’ve always stated that the Heavyweight division in Strikeforce has the best fighters and I still think so. But still, it would be foolish to say that the UFC heavyweight fighters are not good. The guys you named are all very dangerous fighters that can finish fights. Carwin has great knockout power, Brock is a great wrestler and athlete, Frank Mir improved his standup and has a good ground game and the champion Cain Velasquez is very durable and has great wrestling. So those fighters are world-class for sure. fans voted you for MMA Fighter of the Year 2010. What’s your main goal for 2011?
To be voted MMA fighter of the Year 2011 by winning the Strikeforce GP title.

Your prediction for the fight against Fabricio Werdum – Submission or KO?

Photo: Esther Lin for Strikeforce/Showtime

  • I love Overeem, I can’t wait to see him fight the big names!

  • I think he is the next big thing in MMA, I mean he is a real big name but I think 2011 will be his year…

  • strikeforce gp title!!! then ufc title 2012…………………. this guy is at his peak!!! nd will be there for the next 3 years im sure!!!

    • maybe this guy should focus on actually defending his belt instead of trying to get another one..i mean damn 1 strikeforce title defense and it came 3 years after winning it

  • Really hope Fab tries to stand with him.

  • A lot of you guys I know will disagree with me, but to me he is the King of Combat Sports.

    -2005 ADCC European Champion
    -Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion
    -2010 K-1 WGP Champion

    …..The Dream title was a gimme but whatever lol…..

    That’s THREE different titles in THREE different combat sports. I don’t think something like this will be repeated for a very long time. WAR REEM!

  • Werdum is a huge name homie.

  • ??????? ??????. ?????? ???? ? ??? ? ????????.

  • people look past his submission skills, and while he wont tap werdum out, he will have enough defence to cover his backside should, and its a big maybe for werdum.

    Overeem via R1 Brutallity. the only question is how many rows up werdums head will land

  • Why did someone say my comment is weak? Werdum beat a man who was practically undefeated for ten years.

  • We’ll see man, Werdum is a more than worthy opponent for Ubereem.

  • I agree Werdum is a name, but not thee names im looking for him to fight.

  • they’re all zuffa zombies. They think just cuz Werdum lost to JDS and Arlovski(Before he lost his chin) that he sucks and is a nobody. The fact is Werdum has beaten Overeem, Bigfoot and was the first person in 10 years to defeat the great Fedor. Those are pretty much the best guys in the grand prix

  • i agree

  • yea this guy is such a professional. Great interview!

  • Overeem seems pretty unstoppable right now but the only thing that worries me about him is his wrestling and TDD.

    Some people from training camp are saying Alistair’s TDD is that of Cro Cop’s — we’ll see soon.

    The guy is simply a monster.

  • I think Cain is the only one that matches up to him in the UFC, but of course the rest of the pack stands a punchers chances. He is a ADCC and K-1 champ, that proves he’s got great skills. Not one of the top 5 HW in the UFC can boast with achievements like that. He’s the same size as Lesnar, just as athletic, way better submissions, atleast as good of a ground game and the stand up is like night and day.

    If Dana White thought Lesnar deserved a shot at the title after just three MMA fights and some national wrestling. He should just give the belt to Overeem when you look at his merits and compare them to Lesnars.

    To say he isn’t a top 10 HW is ignorant.

  • The only thing that worries me about him is his chin, but his striking defense is very tight anyways. I think he is too big, strong, athletic, hardworking and talented for wrestling to cause him major problems.

  • Hmmmm, I concur but it’s hard to say what state Cro Cop’s TDD was in when he entered the UFC. His TDD looked good in PRIDE (along with his Guard) but then again Mirko never faced elite wrestlers.

  • That as well, he’s been hurt by guys like Hari and Spong. Yet, they’re elite kickboxers and the UFC really doesn’t possess many striking HWs. The division is mostly dominated by wrestlers. BUT you’re right, his striking defense is extremely tight nowadays.

    The one thing guys like Velasquez, Lesnar, Carwin, Gonzaga, Mir, etc should watch out for is The Guillotine. If snaps that in place, good night!

  • Who would you say has the number one spot?

    In BJJ, Marcelo Garcia reigns number one but there are so many guys in MMA with a vicious Guillotine.

  • I wouldn’t say his TDD was exposed big time, he was only taken down once by Gonzaga and it was off of a body kick. His sprawl is still legendary!

  • Joe Steveson and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira are two just off the top of my head.

  • Although Cody Mckenzie isn’t exactly a top tier fighter, his Guillotine impressed the hell out of me.

    Faber definitely has a nasty one, and so does Miller.

  • I like Overeem he’s definitely in top ten heavyweights. But it says lowkick has him #8 p4p and I’m not saying he doesn’t have the talent to become ranked top 10 p4p but I think he needs a couple more wins over top ranked opponents before he should be ranked that high. There are a lot of great fighters that have earned the top 10 p4p label. If he(or when he) wins the HEAVYWEIGHT GP and then fights and wins against one of ufc’s top heavyweights I think he will more then deserve that label.

  • if werdum stands up and trades with him,overeem could be charged for a murder

  • Overeem knows that UFC belt will be his very soon

  • I wonder what magic protein powder Reem is using these days. Reminds me how Barry Bonds doesn’t look anything like he did in his late 20’s. I’d go to GNC and get some if possible, OMG hahaha.

  • probably the same as Lesnar was fed in his late teens