As Alistair Overeem prepares for his UFC debut in just over a month against former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, he’s opening up for the first time about his split with longtime management group Golden Glory.
Overeem had been under Golden Glory as a management group and training team for over a decade so when he split with them, it was a shock to most around the MMA world.
Golden Glory is headed up by Bas Boon and they represent several top fighters including Sergei Kharitonov and Marloes Coenen, but none more well known that the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
While details couldn’t get too specific, Overeem says it ultimately came down to a breach of trust when he signed his deal to become a UFC fighter that opened his eyes to some of the wrong doing by the team at Golden Glory.
Overeem flew to Las Vegas to meet with UFC officials, but Golden Glory owner Bas Boon was in Thailand and unable to make the trip. Overeem opted to hire and attorney to oversee the proceedings, and that’s where he says he found out what was really going on.
“Because Bas (Boon) wasn’t there, I hired a lawyer to go through the contract with me, step by step. What me and the lawyer found out that there were details in the contract, which were to my disadvantage and were an advantage to Golden Glory, which were also not explained to me by Golden Glory and particularly by Bas because I had daily contact with him over the phone and over email,” Overeem explained in his online documentary ‘The Reem’ released on Monday.
“I think it’s the management’s duty to explain stuff to the fighter, that’s what they’re there for, to negotiate to explain things to me, and clarify things for me, and they were not doing their job. Not only that, it was such a big disadvantage that it also caused a breach in trust. I like to work with people I can trust.”
It was a disappointing situation for Overeem because he had worked with Golden Glory for so long, and because of the split it also forced him away from his longtime training partners as well as head coach Martijn De Jong. Overeem believes that his former teammates are just too entrenched with the management at Golden Glory for it to continue being a healthy situation for his fight camp.
While he doesn’t know the inner workings of any of the other fighters when dealing with Golden Glory, Overeem says he’s been burned and he’s not going back.
“Despite that they are good management to all of their fighters maybe, can’t judge for that, but for me they’re not a good management, they’re a bad management. They’re a harmful management,” said Overeem. “I had some good periods with them as well, but due to this issue I cannot continue to work with them.”
Following the split with Golden Glory, Overeem started to put together a new team in his home country of Holland, complete with training partners, coaches, PR team and full staff. While he’s happy in building something new at home, Overeem has now decided that he needs to be in the center of everything happening in the MMA world and that requires him to be in the United States more often.
Overeem has decided to join the team at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, where his good friend and fellow K-1 fighter Ray Sefo works as a coach, and will spend the last part of his training and preparation for Brock Lesnar there as well.
“I’m going to continue our training there at Xtreme Couture, so we’re going to be training with a lot more big guys, big wrestler guys. Looking forward to this trip,” said Overeem.
The former K-1 Grand Prix champion also believes that within the next year or two he will relocate full time to the United States to be in the middle of the home of mixed martial arts.
“I’m very excited being there,” Overeem said about coming to the U.S.
The future for Alistair Overeem appears to be headed in a new direction for his training and management, and with his first UFC fight on the horizon, he’s excited for what’s coming next.
“The UFC contract is the biggest contract in my life, this is the biggest moment in my life,” Overeem said. “The biggest fights are coming now in the UFC. It’s going to be a very exciting couple of years coming up.”
Check out the full video for ‘The Reem’ online documentary below: