Alistair Overeem: And Along Came the Biggest Blackzilian of All

February 13, 2012


For a team that’s new to the MMA scene, the Florida based Blackzilian team continues to grow by the day and now they’ve added their biggest fighter yet. Literally.

Top UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem has signed on with Authentic Sports Management (ASM), headed up by owner Glenn Robinson, and will be relocating to the United States to work exclusively with his agency.

It’s no secret that Overeem had a bad split with his previous team at Golden Glory in 2011, and since that time he’s been working with several different teams, had to build a camp at home to finish getting ready for Brock Lesnar at UFC 140, and while he had a legal team, he’s had no management since that time.

So what was it about the management at Authentic Sports that caught Overeem’s attention?

“Since I signed my UFC contract, I knew I needed to be in the States more and, therefore, I visited several gyms, training camps, managers and other interesting people in the industry. When I came to South Florida, with ASM, I saw right away they are not only a management company, but an organization that makes sure that everything besides fighting is being taken care of,” Overeem said in an interview with MMAWeekly.com.

“They have a team of experts in their own field that can help you grow as a fighter. From Glenn Robinson working hands-on as management to Jen Wenk handling my PR and Karen Gough running marketing, a full-time nutritionist, a finance and legal department – you name it they have it. I have spoke to several people within the team and I was convinced that they can make me the new UFC world champion, so that was for me the decision to join ASM.”

Some fighters will travel to several different camps to get the necessary training they need for any given fight, but for Overeem it wasn’t the ideal situation. For his last fight as he finished up preparation to face Brock Lesnar, Overeem traveled home to Holland when his mother became ill and he literally had to stitch together a training camp to make sure he was ready for his UFC debut.

Obviously the end result was what he wanted, as he knocked out Lesnar in the first round, but it wasn’t the way Overeem desired or wanted to get ready for that level of fight. It was also very important to Overeem to get this settled now before his training camp for his next fight against UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos got into full swing.

“Since my split (with Golden Glory), I was taking care of my own training camp, and it’s not easy to get people come to Holland to train ahead of your fight. Flying people in from around the world is not ideal, so I knew I needed a base where I can always go when I need proper training. I found that place in South Florida,” said Overeem.

“It’s very important, my fight preparation against Brock was far from optimal with a lot of things going on which needed my personal attention. If you want to perform at the highest level you should only focus on training and with this step I can do so. That means everything in this championship fight.”

A big piece of the puzzle according to Overeem was his new manager Glenn Robinson, who founded ASM and essentially created a home for the Blackzilians in Florida. After meeting with Robinson, Overeem knew that he found the right home and the right place to train.

“Glenn knows as no other that if fighters want to perform at the best of their ability, they need to focus on training only. He knows what is needed to have a whole team competing and has several people surrounding him that are very good at what they do,” Overeem stated.

“He’s a real leader and he genuinely takes good care of his people. His business sense and experience combined with his network makes me sure that he can help me grow as a person, and as a fighter.”

Overeem’s previous tenure with Golden Glory lasted for more than a decade. Working with coaches like Martin de Jong and others, Overeem was familiar and at home with that team for most of his professional career.

So like a marriage that ends after so many years, it’s tough sometimes to move on and find another relationship where you truly feel trust and love again. The same can be said for Overeem after he broke off working with Golden Glory.

He wasn’t seeking out new management, and was seemingly content with the team he had around him when he made his UFC debut. That all changed however when he visited ASM, met Glenn Robinson, and felt at ease calling this new place home.

“After my Golden Glory split I didn’t desire to have a new management team because I had created my own team that was doing a great job, but when I visited ASM in the States, I saw what kind of added value they bring to the table. I saw first hand what they do for their
fighters and that’s not even comparable to the situation in Holland,” said Overeem.

“The only thing that I was missing is management with experience that knows the market and is based in the States, and I found that missing link with ASM. I am bringing along some of my key players that will be integrated in ASM, so it is a win-win for everyone. By this, I am referring to some of my trainers, nutritionists, and people like Fabrice Deters and Remco Peperkamp who have been instrumental in my current success. So, having the comfort of having people around me who know me best, along with the group at ASM is the perfect situation.”

The Dutch striking machine also paid tribute to the people that helped him get through his first experience in the UFC, and all those that supported him along the way.

“Last, but not least, I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to my latest success versus Brock Lesnar,” Overeem stated. “From my friends in Amersfoort who stepped up and supported me during the Golden Glory split, to my striking coach Roberto Flamingo, my Fight Power Academy friends, investors, legal teams, sponsors, my striking and sparring partners, the sparring partners from Reign MMA, Xtreme Couture and also my friends and trainers from GBG MMA Babak and Joakim for their interest and support.”

Now it’s on to the next move and that is fighting for the UFC heavyweight title.

Overeem will be relocating to Florida in the coming weeks to begin full time work with his coaches, training at the same gym alongside the Blackzilians team as he prepares for his shot at the UFC gold later this year against champion Junior dos Santos.


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