Although he hasn’t been seen inside of a Strikeforce cage since capturing the heavyweight title over two years ago, Alistair Overeem claims that he would be down to fight for the UFC if the world’s biggest MMA organization were to allow him to compete for other promotions.
“I am a fighter and fight as much as possible, against anybody. If the UFC would have a policy that fighting outside their organization was okay,” Overeem told MMAMania.com of possibly joining the big leagues. “I wanted to fight Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, or anybody in their top flight right now … I do not care about which banner. I care about beating my opponents under whatever banner.”
Overeem owns an impressive 32-11 (1 N/C) professional record and will finally defend his strap when he meets Brett Rogers at “Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery.” Although the report didn’t specify how many more bouts will remain on his deal after the May 15th contest, the Dutchman welcomes the opportunity to showcase his skills inside of an Octagon.
“My management is okay with [UFC president] Dana White. I met him one year ago when I went with my manager to UFC in Ireland,” Overeem said. “We made pictures and talked about the UFC. If they want me to fight there, no problem, but right now I have a contract with Strikeforce and I will honor that agreement.”
The ability for fighters to compete in multiple organizations is something the UFC has always frowned upon. However, it was a major sticking point in their early negotiations with Fedor Emelianenko, although it appears the UFC may have caved as the only sticking point between them remains co-promotion, so it’s POSSIBLE they may make the exception for Overeem as well.
Much has been made of Overeem’s immediate exit from the U.S. after capturing the Strikeforce heavyweight title back in November 2007. Not only has he not been back to defend his crown, he turned into The Incredible Hulk during the process which has many, ahem Team Fedor, questioning the legitimacy behind achieving that kind of natural growth in such a short period of time.
White took a similar risk a few years ago on a heavyweight that had also been rumored to dabble with the juice, and Brock Lesnar has paid massive dividends. Although White’s gamble has worked thus far, Overeem claims that it’s only because he hasn’t had the chance to face the former WWE employee yet.
“I would love to fight Lesnar,” Overeem confidently stated. “It would not be too difficult to crush my knee on his head!”