Alistair Overeem Talks K-1 Finals, Strikeforce, Fedor and Werdum
By Justin Bolduc
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 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 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 and I would love to thank my sponsors; Fight Game, Hayabusa, Hostility and Fulltilt Poker.
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