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Alistair Overeem: Fedor’s not ducking me and I think the fight will happen

By Zach Arnold | May 16, 2010

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The steroid comments will probably get the most play from this interview, but I think it’s interesting how confident Alistair is in the fight with Fedor happening. More interesting is how confident he is in his chances of winning that fight.

Happy with your fight performance in your win over Brett Rogers?

“Definitely, yes. Very happy and very proud. Trained my ass off for this, it was a hard training camp, every day you go at it. Yeah, like I said I was really prepared, felt really confident mentally also so… the prize is this win.”

Were you surprised at the dominant fashion of the fight outcome?

“Well, I’m prepared for anything, of course you’re prepared for a fight. This one was really easy. I’m just happy but I was prepared for a fight, you know, I could take a shot, I was prepared for that also. So, of course you’re happy that it went easy.”

Were you more nervous for this fight in the States due to the layoff here than for your fights in Japan?

“I’m not nervous any more, you know. I know how to get my body in great shape, I know how to stay relaxed and to be in the days leading up to the fight how to act, you know, what to do, so I just did that and I feel great and I’m ready for anybody.”

You noted at the press conference that 2006 was a bad year for you. Is this currently the high-water mark in your career right now?

“I would say I have (had) several really high points. This is definitely one of them. I defeated the K-1 champion Badr, that was really a nice accomplishment. I once beat Kharitoniv, he was the second of PRIDE in 2006, early 2006, that was a really good accomplishment. I became third in the PRIDE GP, that was a very good accomplishment, well 2007 I obviously became Strikeforce champion, that was a good accomplishment. So I’ve had several strong moments, several good moments. Also some dips, you know, 2006 I lost three fights consecutively. Yeah. That gives you experience, you know, how to come back, you learn how your body works, you learn how to manage stuff outside the trainings, inside the trainings. Give you mental strength also if you are able to bounce back from dips. If everything goes great, then it’s easy. But if you are losing fights and everything’s gone wrong and you manage to get out of that, that gives you a strong mental attitude.”

There are always politics when it comes to fighting Fedor. Are you confident the fight will happen?

“Actually I am. I spoke to Scott and everybody wants this fight to happen. I think, I believe even Fedor wants this fight to happen, so… I think it’s going to happen.”

“Fedor himself is a true warrior. I respect him a lot. He’s a true champion. I know him from the PRIDE days and actually we got along fine, we worked out a couple of times and a lot of respect there. His management, however, they have accused me of steroid use. They are ducking me, they are putting all sort of barriers to not have the fight happen. I think they’re the obstacle. Fedor’s not the obstacle, I’m not the obstacle, Scott wants the fights to happen, Strikeforce wants the fight to happen, Showtime wants the fight to happen, the fans want it, but Fedor’s management… different story.”

Do you think your win on Saturday night, along with the Strikeforce-administered drug test, will silence your critics?

“Yeah, it’s just a matter of time. That was just, you know, when you’re fighting in Japan obviously you know after the steroid testing in America then you can challenge the critics, so I knew it’s just going to be a matter of time, just keep your things together, focus on what you have to do, and give it time.”

Do you plan on fighting in Strikeforce again in 2010?

“Well, I’ll be going to New York tomorrow for a promotion tour. After that I will be in Dubai for some seminars and in these 10 days I’m going to make a whole plan for 2010. I’m hoping to fight here once or twice, yes.”

What about fighting in Japan in 2010?

“Not sure yet. I am qualified for the K-1 Final 16 but my priority is Strikeforce now.”

You kept your old Strikeforce Heavyweight belt and now have a new one?

“I’m really proud of my belts. I’m really proud of any cup that I win, so that has a really nice spot on my wall and this one will be coming right next to it. I have a spot reserved for all my belts and they’ll be some more hanging there.”

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