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.