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Alistair Overeem Says Fabricio Werdum Has “Definitely Evolved”, But Maintains he Can Beat New Champ Again

Kelsey Mowatt

Alistair Overeem

Fabricio Werdum may sit atop the UFC’s heavyweight division, and has done nothing but impress in recent years, but the last man to defeat him says he could do so again.

Yes, that man is Alistair Overeem, who worked his way to a unanimous decision win over Werdum back in 2011, when the two were fighting for Strikeforce. Since then, however, Werdum has gone on to win six straight, and on Saturday, he defeated Cain Velasquez to become UFC champ.

“The Reem” appeared on the latest “MMA Hour” recently, and not surprisingly, he was asked for his thoughts on Saturday’s headliner. Overeem credited Werdum for having an “excellent performance”, but questioned whether cage rust and the altitude of Mexico City, hindered Velasquez’s performance.

As you likely know, the bout marked the first time since 2013 that Velasquez had fought, and the fighter also didn’t arrive in Mexico City until two weeks prior. Werdum, on the other hand, trained in the region for over a month.

Overeem also discussed Werdum’s well documented development as a fighter, and while doing so, he noted the following (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):

“He’s the same guy, but he’s definitely evolved. I’ve evolved, too,” Overeem said. “And to answer your next question if I think I can beat him, yes, I do think I can beat him. I have been following his progress throughout the years and I can say that I am very hungry to fight him. I definitely do see weaknesses with him. He’s a great athlete, he’s doing great at the moment, but he has weaknesses and I feel I am the guy that can expose those.”

“It’s like this, I’m not the UFC. I’m not a matchmaker,” he said. “I’m the last guy who beat Werdum and I’m going to leave it up to the UFC to decide what they want to do next, but if the phone rings, I will be available. That’s that.”

Of course, Overeem is going to need to win a couple more fights before that likely happens, but it would be interesting to see how Werdum-Overeem II would play out. When they met the first time, Werdum’s striking pedigree was not what it is now.

All this aside, it remains to be seen who Overeem will fight next, following his wins over Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson.

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