Anthony Johnson: Alistair Overeem Ain’t No Blackzilian


News broke yesterday that former UFC welterweight-turned WSOF light heavyweight Anthony “Rumble” Johnson will be making his way back to the Octagon to face current No. 4-ranked contender Phil Davis at April’s UFC 172 from the Amway Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

It’s a huge opportunity for the once scorned “Rumble,” who was last seen in the UFC missing weight for the third time prior to his UFC 142 bout against surging middleweight title contender Vitor Belfort. He lost that bout by submission and was subsequently cut from the world’s biggest MMA promotion.

But Johnson found new life outside the UFC, winning six straight bouts, including four knockout finishes. He was last seen destroying veteran Mike Kyle with a vicious hook at WSOF 8 in January. Johnson is ready to once again take on the best fighters in the world, and he isn’t getting awestruck by Davis’ lofty ranking, telling FOX Sports:

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“They brought up Phil Davis and I’m like I’ll fight whoever it is, I don’t care.  It’s just another human being in front of me.  He does the same thing I do and I know I do it better,” Johnson said.  “So put me up against whoever you want to put me up against.”

He may not care who he fights in the UFC, but there’s one man who won’t be helping him train as a member of South Florida’s Blackzilians team.

Former Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem, who has been centered at Jaco Hybrid Training Center alongside Johnson, Rashad Evans, Eddie Alvarez, Tyrone Spong, and many others, recently took his training camp back to Thailand to prepare for his UFC 169 win over Frank Mir.

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And it’s unknown if “The Reem” will ever come back to the team or not. While there’s reportedly no ill will between Overeem and the team, “The Demolition Man” supposedly held strange hours at the Blackzilians’ facility, often training with his own group of coaches and partners rather than the actual team itself.

That dynamic lead Johnson to detail Overeem’s involvement (or lack thereof) with the surging squad:

“I ain’t got not beef with him, I just don’t care about him. He’s not a Blackzilian, he ain’t no Blackzilian.  Don’t even put him in that category. He’s Team Alistair, that’s it.”

Johnson puts it bluntly, but perhaps an Overeem split from the Blackzilians is the best thing for both involved parties. After all, Overeem got his first UFC win in over two years after departing the camp, and it’s clear that a pivotal portion of the team doesn’t even view “the Reem” as a true member.

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Even though UFC president Dana White criticized Overeem for being unable to finish an obviously overmatched Mir at UFC 169, he did outstrike the former champ by an alarming margin of 139-5. It may not have been his best win, but Overeem should be headed for a relatively big match-up his next time out.

It remains to be seen whether or not he’s still a member of the Blackzilians once that day arrives.