UFC on Fox is behind us. Junior dos Santos is the new heavyweight champion of the world. But there’s another monster heavyweight match-up just around the corner that decides the No. 1 contender in the division.
Former titleholder Brock Lesnar and former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem face off at UFC 141 on Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to decide who will face dos Santos next.
It’s Overeem’s Octagon debut and the return of Lesnar, who has been sidelined following surgery to repair the damage caused by diverticulitis, an intestinal disorder.
Lesnar said it took about six hours for him to feel like his old self after surgery.
“I’m back and I feel good,” proclaimed the former champion.
The decision to undergo surgery wasn’t an easy one for the 34-year-old. When first diagnosed with diverticulitis in 2009, Lesnar opted for therapy.
“I avoided the surgery as long as I could. It was just a major decision. When you’ve got to go under the knife and have some of your intestines removed, it’s a pretty big deal,” he said.
Healed, healthy, and back weighing 278 pounds, Lesnar is focused on winning the UFC heavyweight belt again, but the only fighter in combat sports history to hold world titles simultaneously in kickboxing and mixed martial arts stands in his way, Alistair Overeem.
“I’m just trying to build my confidence in my stand-up and be a well-rounded fighter. To come back and win this fight and to win the UFC heavyweight championship back, that’s my dream,” Lesnar said during a press conference promoting the event.
Lesnar doesn’t’ have the experience of Overeem, but facing a more experienced opponent has been the case in every fight Lesnar’s had in his mixed martial arts career.
“Alistair’s done a lot of good things overseas, and I think he’s got a lot of fights. It’s an honor for me to get in the Octagon to kick his ass,” Lesnar declared when asked about Overeem’s more decorated resume.
Since signing with the UFC, Overeem has left Holland and Team Golden Glory to train in the U.S. at the Xtreme Couture Gym in Las Vegas. Lesnar briefly trained with Xtreme Couture founder Randy Couture after defeating the UFC Hall of Famer to win the title at UFC 91 in November of 2008.
“It’s a free country,” said Lesnar about Overeem’s training with Couture. ” He can train where he wants. It ain’t going to really matter I don’t think.”