Former UFC heavyweight title challenger Alistair Overeem has provided updates on his MMA status and combat sports retirement timeline.
67-fight mixed martial arts veteran Overeem culminated his time inside the Octagon last February. Prior to UFC Vegas 18, the Dutchman was on a late-career resurgence, with victories over Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai moving him close to a second chance at having UFC gold wrapped around his waist.
But against former Bellator champion and perennial UFC headliner Alexander Volkov, “The Demolition Man” fell to a second-round TKO defeat. Soon after, it was announced that Overeem had been released from his contract.
With that, the 42-year-old announced a return to kickboxing, signing a multi-fight deal with Glory. Overeem was the first fighter to hold world titles in MMA and K-1 kickboxing simultaneously, having won Strikeforce’s heavyweight belt and K-1’s 2010 World Grand Prix.
Following his signing, Overeem was scheduled to challenge reigning Glory heavyweight king Rico Verhoeven last October, but the combat sports vet had to withdraw through injury. Almost a year later, the London-born Dutch powerhouse is slated to return against former K-1 champion Badr Hari at Glory: Collision 4 next weekend.
Despite still boasting title ambitions in kickboxing, with a rearranged clash against Verhoeven in his sights post-Hari, Overeem hasn’t ruled out a return to MMA before he calls time on his career.
During a recent interview with MMA Underground’s John Morgan, Overeem revealed that he could return to the cage for one final MMA contest, with the current ending to his tenure in the sport leaving a lot to be desired.
“So, I do love grappling, I do love MMA. but think it’s just a more a complete art; striking, and grappling, and strength and conditioning. I like the less limitations,” Overeem said. “To answer your question, my goals are Badr, I’m gonna smash him, then I’m gonna smash Rico, and then, you know, maybe one more MMA. But for now, the goal is Badr and then Rico; get that belt.
“Maybe one more final (MMA) one. Because, of course, the MMA thing didn’t finish satisfactory for me. So, we also wanna finish that satisfactory, and I believe I have it in me,” Overeem added.
As it turns out, the plan Overeem laid out is not only his ideal schedule for the coming months and years, but also the timeline for his retirement.
Overeem Says ‘No More Than 2/3 More Fights’
After admitting a desire to re-write the current final chapter of his MMA book, Overeem insisted that he’s not planning anything beyond victories over Hari and Verhoeven under the Glory banner, and one final swim in the mixed martial arts waters.
“It will not be more than that. It will not be more than those potential two or three fights. So, it’s two or three, thank you very much, it’s been great,” Overeem said. “It’s literally been 25 to 26 years of competition. I’m very thankful that I took very well care of my body… But it will be a time for me to hang up the gloves and pass on my knowledge.”
During his MMA career, Overeem has shared the cage with notable names like Chuck Liddell, Antônio Rogério Nogueira, Vitor Belfort, Mirko Cro Cop, Brock Lesnar, and Stipe Miocic. While his current record is glistening with stars and memorable victories, it’s understandable that Overeem will be looking to close it out with a victory.
First things first, though, “The Demolition Man” will be looking to secure a final piece of gold for his trophy cabinet, the road to which starts on October 8 against fellow his Dutchman, Hari.
Who would you like to see Alistair Overeem face for his final MMA fight?