Alistair Overeem Addresses What Kept Him From Already Being Retired


Alistair Overeem addresses what has kept him in the sport of MMA and not calling it a career already.

The former title contender was originally supposed to fight Alexander Volkov at the upcoming UFC St. Petersburg event. Things changed as Volkov pulled out of the fight. Overeem is now fighting Aleksei Oleinik in the heavyweight headliner.

In his last fight, Overeem finished Sergey Pavlovich in the co-headliner of UFC Beijing. The event went down in November 2018 at Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China. For Overeem, he thinks moving to different gyms throughout his career has helped him to stick around as long as he has up to this point.

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“If I had stayed in one or two places, I’d probably be retired by now,” Overeem said on The MMA Hour. “Because as a fighter, you can get compromised. It’s not for everybody, but I have been compromised a couple times in my career, and to me, it was do or die time. I had to make some changes. Sometimes I didn’t want to make changes, but I still had to make changes if I wanted to continue my career.

“Let’s go back to my last loss to Curtis Blaydes — actually that was two in a row, because I had lost to Francis (Ngannou) and I lost to Curtis. I was training out of Jackson’s. The chemistry there, we had a good chemistry, but it was just finished. And to me, I still want to fight, so you’re going to keep doing something that doesn’t work for you? Or you’re going to make changes and figure it out again? And to me, I had to do that. I had to figure it out again. I still felt I could do that. Back then I was 37, I’m 38 years old now. But I felt like I could still do it, I need to do it.”

UFC St. Petersburg is set to take place on Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg, Russia. The main and preliminary cards will air on ESPN+.