Former UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem has announced that he plans to retire from all combat sports within 18 months.

Overeem was a former champion in DREAM, Strikeforce, and K1. The 41 year old last fought for the UFC in February of this year. He lost that fight to Alexander Volkov via second round TKO. After that bout Overeem was released by the UFC after a nine-year stint with the organization. He was then picked up by kickboxing promotion GLORY. He is scheduled to fight their heavyweight champ, Rico Verhoeven on October 23 in his home country of Holland.

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In a recent interview, Overeem talks about wanting to retire with the UFC but not having the chance to. (H/T mmajunkie.com)

“I’m professional – I’m realistic,” Overeem said. “This is something the UFC can do after you lose. That is the terms of their contracts, they can release you from the contract. I’ve had a good time with the UFC. They can do this. Maybe it was time for the younger generation to come in. You can’t forget, I am 41 years old. I am getting a little bit older. If it was up to me I would’ve liked to finish in UFC, but it was not up to me.

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“Only the UFC belt is missing from my wall. We were so close. It is what it is. If there would be one thing I could’ve changed or wanted it would be that UFC belt. But on the other hand (I had) so many beautiful victories. So many exciting moments. I’m proud about (my career there).”

The Dutchman also said that while the last couple of months have been crazy, he still has a passion for combat sports.

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“A lot has happened in the last six months,” Overeem said.”The release. Finding a new promotion. Getting enthusiastic again. Figuring out training camp. A lot of steps have happened. But I love my life, I love what I’m doing. I love the sport. I’m just happy doing what I’m doing.”

What is your favorite memory from Alistair Overeem’s combat sports career?

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