Having previously won four fights in a row before suffering a loss in a heavyweight title challenge to Stipe Miocic at UFC 203 in September of last year, Overeem felt he had something to prove against Hunt, as he believes people might have thought he was done, which is far from the truth.
“People are always writing me off,” Overeem said at the UFC 209 post-fight press conference. “What can I say? Maybe it has to do with my longevity (in my) career. It’s been 24 years training and competing, but I just love fighting.”
With the win over Hunt, the question inevitably comes to what he wants to do next. And while a title fight is eventually where Overeem wants to end up, a possible next opponent could be a fighter he’s mentioned recently in up-and-comer Francis Ngannou.
“I like to test myself,” said Overeem. “I believe that every opponent makes me better. (Ngannou) mentioned my name, and I was open to the idea. I was like, ‘wait a minute, somebody wants to fight me?’ And I never back down from nobody who wants to fight me.”
When it comes to the UFC heavyweight championship, Overeem sees the possibility in facing either winner of the UFC 211 title bout between champion Stipe Miocic and challenger Junior dos Santos, particularly if dos Santos wins, as Overeem holds a victory over the Brazilian.
“Of course, championship fight, JDS versus Stipe; two great athletes, two great fighters. I really loved their first fight,” Overeem said. “It was back and forth and a very tough fight for both. But if JDS would win that one, I could see a rematch there too, me and JDS.”
Either way, with his win over Hunt, Overeem has shown he still has plenty to give to the sport of MMA, and he could find himself within the heavyweight title picture again by year’s end.