Alistair Overeem has taken some heavy shots inside and outside the Octagon in recent months, but the heavyweight continues to say he’s optimistic about where things are heading in his career.
Of course, Overeem made headlines earlier this year by leaving the Florida based Blackzilians team for New Mexico’s Jackson-Wink MMA camp. The Dutch fighter heaped praise on his new camp heading into his September 5th bout with Ben Rothwell, but Overeem was stopped for the third time in his last four scraps.
Up next, the feared striker will take on fellow countryman Stefan Struve at UFC on FOX 13, and Overeem is clearly still feeling good about his new surroundings. In a recent interview with UFC.com, the former Strikeforce champ had this to say about his recent losses and the changes he’s made in his camp:
“I think there’s a couple different ways you can look at the results,” said Overeem. “These results are not good, I totally agree. Would I like to have other results? Of course I would like to have other results – I’m a winner. I like winning.”
“I enjoy winning and I put in the work to win. However, winning is not just a matter of work; it’s a combination of factors: it’s your sparring partners, your coaches, your diet – it’s the whole package, even your personal life. In that sense, it’s a continuous building of a puzzle and I think that the puzzle is very good right now.”
Yes, leading up to his UFC arrival, Overeem had been doing a ton of winning, as he had gone undefeated in 11 straight bouts. But since Overeem took out Brock Lesnar in short order at UFC 141, he’s gone 1-3.
There’s no question that the Jackson-Wink camp has cultivated plenty of top tier fighters over the years, but it remains to be seen whether the gym can turn things around for Overeem.
And what is Overeem expecting in his upcoming scrap with Struve?
“Of course, we’re going to have to be extra sharp, but I’m very motivated to be fighting my fellow Dutchman Stefan Struve and I can tell you that it is going to be fireworks.”
Now that’s a fight that could very well end in the first round…
UFC on FOX 13 will be hosted by the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona, and will feature Junior dos Santos taking on fellow heavyweight contender Stipe Miocic in the opening round.