Exclusive: At All Costs, Alistair Overeem Is Out for Justice Against Golden Glory

January 26, 2012
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Alistair Overeem
In this exclusive interview, UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem talks to MMAWeekly.com about the ongoing legal situation with his former team at Golden Glory and much, much more.

Overeem took time on Wednesday to talk to MMAWeekly.com about his upcoming fight with Junior dos Santos, the work he’s been doing with the Blackzilians and he fires back at his former team at Golden Glory and the lawsuits that have been filed by both parties.

Damon Martin: First let’s start with what’s coming next for you in the UFC. It’s going to be Junior dos Santos for the title. I want to start by asking your thoughts on him as a fighter and his striking?

Alistair Overeem: Junior dos Santos is the heavyweight champion of the UFC so he’s the best fighter in the world at the moment and he has that belt around his waist, which I’m still missing. He’s a very strong fighter with knockout power in his punches, and he moves very well for a heavyweight. His boxing skills are the best in the MMA business so that would make for a very interesting fight. It will be a classic striker versus striker, which an audience always loves to see. It will be a great fight for sure.

DM: Do you have any timeline when you hope to face him? What time would be ideal for you?

AO: It’s up to the UFC, to be honest, they decide when we are going to fight. My guess would be that it’s going to be sooner than later.

DM: I know you traveled a lot for your last fight with Lesnar, partially because you had to head home. Have you made any decisions about where you will train for dos Santos? I know some have said you were working a bit with the Blackzilian team in Florida?

AO: I’m still looking around and have to visit some places, and you are also right that I was in Florida to see how they operate. I have spoken to people at Authentic Sports Management and to be honest I had a great feeling – although I have my own team at the moment that is doing a great job. It’s always good to set up relationships to see if we can benefit from the both of us working together. For now I’m still undecided, but I can tell you that my focus is going to be more in the States because most major opportunities are based here.

DM: You’ve mentioned that the UFC title is the last belt you want because you’ve won every major title in combat sports. Do you believe the UFC title would rank as the biggest accomplishment of your career?

AO: Yes, absolutely. UFC is the biggest combat organization in the world with the most fighters and the best shows out there so winning that title will be my biggest achievement. I’m happy with all the other belts and they are special in every way, but having all of the major combat belts would be something extra special. People always debate which champion in which organization is better, but if you have them all there is not much room for debate, if you ask me.

DM: I also wanted to ask you about the current situation ongoing with Golden Glory. We know the lawsuits are out there from both sides but it seems like things are getting more personal with some of the comments that have been made in the press. Do you feel this has gotten personal at all?

AO: This is not a personal affair, however it is true that what Golden Glory did is damaging and very unprofessional. I tried to resolve this situation through ongoing negotiations, but when they put my fight contract on the Internet and attempted to freeze my fight purse right before a very important fight, the negotiations came to a halt. It is time to go to court, and I will seek justice at all costs.

DM: In some ways it appears from certain comments that Golden Glory and their attorneys have brought your character into question. How do you respond to any of those comments?

AO: They may have attempted to bring my character into question, but that is simply a failed and shortsighted tactic because when all of the facts are revealed and everything becomes public in court, it will be Golden Glory’s character and business practices that will be brought into question. I have the truth and the law on my side in this matter, they know that, and soon so will everyone else.

DM: Golden Glory’s lawyers files an injunction against you just before the fight with Lesnar. They claimed it was timing for the pay situation but do you believe in some way it was intended to be a distraction for you before the fight?

AO: That may be the case that they tried to distract me, but thankfully it was not successful. It only furthered my resolve to seek justice in the courts, and to bring out the truth for everyone to see.

DM: Golden Glory announced that the K-1 will continue and that most of the fighters received their money and that they are organizing there next Glory show, what are your thoughts on that?

AO: Both [Gohkan] Saki and Siyar [Bahadurzada] told me they have not been paid the main prize from Golden Glory’s own [United] Glory tournament that was held in May 2011. My thoughts are that perhaps they should conclude business with the 2011 tournament first, before planning another.

DM: Last question… What do you hope is the final outcome from this situation with Golden Glory? Is it disheartening at all that things ended this way after working together for over a decade?

AO: I have spent a lot of years with Golden Glory, however I’ve learned recently that Golden Glory management has been dishonest with me on many occasions. This has made me determined to do whatever it takes to get the justice that I deserve. This is the great thing about the U.S. Court system, you can’t hide facts or details. There is no doubt the law is on my side and the world will soon understand why I am upset and why I won’t settle until justice is accomplished.

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
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  • Thought I was gonna read about a new Seagal movie when I clicked on this article.

  • I hope golden glory gets what they deserve. And I hope MR. Overeem can be paid the money he earns without people screwing with it.
    The man is a talented fighter, who deserves to paid for his talents, without greedy leeches sucking his pockets dry.

    Also, if he beats JDS, he will be the best heavyweight in the world hands down.

  • MikeMc1983

    Not that I’m ever happy to see guys in litigation, at least some of us nosey fans got some details of a top guys contract.

    The rough numbers put overeem at making a bit over 2 million for the lesnar fight. That’s still not including any sponsers, or whatever the UFC is paying him for using his image/likeness.

    I didn’t find UFC 141 final ppv buys numbers. However the estimates I found were 800,000 buys.

    $264,285 show money
    $121,428 win money
    $333,334 sign bonus (part of a $1 million sign bonus spread evenly over his first 3 fights)
    800,000 ppv bus X $2 = $1.6 million

    With the way I read it I believe the ppv buys is for everything over $500,000. So you probably need to subtract $500,000 from the ppv buy bonus.
    I also added in the sign bonus because it’s spread over the duration of the fight contact, so it doesn’t seem to matter who he’s fighting, but that will be included his next 3 fights as well.

    I have no idea what the UFC is paying guys for their promotion/merchandizing. That seems to usually be some of the most complicated numbers to gather for any entertainer.
    I don’t think sponser money would be that big for fighters yet, but I could be wrong. I’m sure that’s a growing field.

    This is just better evidence of how much more guys can get than the released numbers. I have a feeling some guys have some nicer contracts. Also, with the ppv buys in there, it’s why I think overeem jumped at fighting Brock, as he will probably get a lot less buys even in his title fight.

    • Lesnardo

      It’s great that you can do some math.

      Guys like GSP, Lesnar, Overeem, and Fedor making $1 million per fight is evidence that something is wrong. They should be making waaaay more.

      UFC fighters are some of the worst paid athletes in professional sports.

      Most importantly, Zuffa gets too big of a cut.

      If you can’t see that fighters are being exploited (financially), then you are truly one sad dude.

      • So why doesn’t someone start their own promotion and pay the fighters extraordinary amounts of money? Worked out well for Affliction…

        • Lesnardo

          Nice argument.

          UFC could afford to pay its fighters as much as Affliction paid its fighters without taking a financial hit.

          In any case, this whole industrial organization debate is going no where.

          Having one promoter has its pros and cons. UFC has many stars. It just doesn’t have superstars like boxing. But in boxing, outside of Manny, Floyd, and other top guys, everyone is paid shit.

          Also, UFC does not pay its fighters for UFC games and videos. The same business model as the WWE.

          Stop with that Condom Depo endorsement argument. Getting paid $1000 for wearing Condom Depo shit is not the same as getting a cut from the UFC game.

          • MikeMc1983

            Overeems contract does have him being paid for the UFC using him in a video game and other stuff. That is what I was talking about when I said I wasn’t speaking about sponsers.

            The info we got from the lawsuit isn’t enough to put a figure on that, and is likely a different contract. It does however say that he is paid for the UFC using his likeness. It could be a new thing. I know couture was in court over it. So something has changed.

  • Lesnardo

    Also, since when did we start using endorsements as an excuse for underpaying athletes?

    Condon depo endorsement is NOT nike endorsement.

  • Anthony

    “condon depot” what the hell is that? Didnt he run for president a few years back? No wait…. that was Condit

  • shaman

    In all fairness, SHORT_BUS, simply saying ‘take it or leave it’ is not proof the UFC is fair to it’s fighters

    UFC annihilates their business rivals with predatory precision and punishes guys like Todd Duffee for even hinting they should get more money

    Having a monopoly and smashing down internal dissent proves they’re bullies, not some ‘inspired philanthropists’ staged interviews imply you believe. It’s a Putin’esque style of business practice that leads to players unions

  • MikeMc1983

    With the amounts I put up I believe that’s more pay to overeem than I’ve ever heard anyone paying fighters. Including affliction.
    I also don’t think overeem would have the best contract. (though he may)

    I’ve always been a supporter of “the players.”
    I’ve always said that I would rather see more money given to the players I enjoy watching then the owners. (not that it should be that way)
    I’ve just never believed the myth that we should blame the players for the product costing so much. Since if you cut the nfl payroll in half tomarrow, a ticket to a game wouldn’t reflect that.

    Problem with the UFC situation is. What’s enough. The UFC says guys average 1.6 fights a year. (Lorenzo’s words)
    That would put overeem’s projection at 3 million a this year.
    Take, let’s say the Peyton manning. Nfl contracts are much more complicated as they defer a lot of contracts monies year to year.
    However, put it at 18 million for the year.

    Is the nfl not over 6 times the revenue size of the UFC?
    It’s also a lot harder because the buissness isn’t the same. The nfl has gurrentied income. The UFC sees a lot of its money after they make payouts.
    All the other leagues have their relationships, so they’re advertising dollars go much farther.

    The UFC guys are getting less in their pockets than other major sports stars. I agree with that. They’re also less of stars than most of these other guys. There’s still more people that know chuck Liddell and Forrest griffin than know Anderson silva, and allistar overeem. But over all of the. More people know Peyton 100 fold over the rest of them combined.

    They might not get “paid enough,” but what’s enough. UFC has closed books so we have no idea what money they even have. Honestly, we don’t know they even make a profit. It’s not like companies haven’t taken the GOOGLE approach and invested $3 for every $2 made. Google made it. Almost every other company who tried their way failed.
    So how much should the fighters get paid? Any answers other than “more?”

  • MikeMc1983

    I didn’t write that comment out in a way to imply how I felt about guys getting paid. I just did so because I hadn’t seen anyone else, and it was the first detailed contract I’ve seen broken.
    Guys were throwing a fit when they saw overeem making $385k on the commission report. If they feel better about it being $2 million that’s up to them

    I also mention endorsements I stated I don’t think that would be very big. I agree that has nothing to do with the UFC.

    There’s a difference between endorsements, and money paid by the UFC for using his likeness. I put more attention to that as a fighter could possiably make more in royalties from that, then they’re checks from fighting. In other sports/entertainment those have huge numbers.

    I wrote another long ass post in this article. Maybe if you read it without assuming me to be on one side, or the other it will make more sense.

    • Lesnardo

      MikeMC1983, I really like you and find your comments to be good.

      But PLEASE go take a writing class or something.

      “gurrentied”??? You mean “guaranteed.”

      Also, your comments are full of non-typo grammatical errors.

      You are not going to be taken seriously here unless you do something about your writing.

  • Towers66

    Lesnardo, I really dislike your writing. Your points are usually bogus as well as your opinions. You seem close minded and your knowledge of the sport is weak. Your spelling is excellent though, good for you buddy. Go fuck yourself. MikeMC, you’re posts are usually pretty interesting. Your occasional spelling error does not bother me or sway my opinion of your knowledge of MMA. Keep it up.

  • Anthony

    MikeMc1983 , keep your chin up, after you finish your writing class maybe Lesnardo can get you a job interview at the condon depot.lol

    • Danjitsu

      Best. Reply. Eva.

    • MikeMc1983

      Come on now guys. Just because he doesn’t know how condom is spelled doesn’t mean he’s not smart. It just means he’s probably a bit more lonely then the rest of us…

  • Towers66

    I use a magnun condon. 🙂

  • bbtakayama

    Occupy UFC protest!!! Who’s coming with me?