by Damon Martin
Former Strikeforce and K-1 Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem is anxious to get back in the UFC Octagon again, the sooner the better.
Overeem is still serving out his nine-month de facto suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission stemming from a test given in April. That test indicated the Dutch fighter had an elevated ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone.
Now residing full time in Florida as part of the Blackzilian camp, Overeem has dedicated himself to training and preparing for his return to the cage once he can apply for a fight license.
It appeared briefly that Overeem might get to face UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos upon his return, but ultimately promotion officials opted to give the next shot to former titleholder Cain Velasquez at UFC 155 in December.
The news may have been somewhat discouraging for Overeem because he has been gunning for dos Santos since entering the UFC, but the bigger picture right now is just getting back to fighting, no matter who the opponent might be.
“First of all, he would have loved to have had the opportunity to fight for the title, but Alistair is a fighter, and as a fighter he will fight whoever they put in front of him,” Overeem’s manager Glenn Robinson of Authentic Sports Management told MMAWeekly Radio recently.
“Reality is, he’s training extraordinarily hard, and whoever gets in front of him is going to meet a completely different Alistair. This guy is just dedicated to rebuilding and rededicating himself.”
Despite being on hiatus until at least December, Overeem isn’t taking to time to enjoy a long vacation or even spend the extra months at home in Holland. No, he’s treating this extended period of time between fights as a long and hard training camp, aimed at making Overeem the best he’s ever been.
“He’s in great shape. He’s in better shape now than when he joined us. He’s strong; his cardio is crazy. He’s training with pro football players, a whole team of pro football players. We ran out of people large enough to fend him off, so we put him with a whole pro football team to do cardio,” Robinson revealed.
“All that’s going to happen is whoever does face him is in a lot of trouble.”
Overeem’s longterm goals are still to take the UFC heavyweight title and add it to his mantle of championships, but he knows he’s not going to face Junior dos Santos upon his return.
The Dutch wrecking machine has already been out too long and when the gates are opened for his return, Overeem wants to face the best heavyweight available, as soon as possible.
“He wants to come back as soon as he can. We have to wait until the Nevada State Athletic Commission can give him the license, and he’s doing everything he can to live by the letter of the law so that there’s no issue with getting that license when the time comes,” Robinson stated.
“He’s going to be ready to fight the second that there’s a fight. He’s not going to need a camp, because he’s never left camp. The day that he’s allowed to be licensed, if they want him to fight the next day, he’ll be ready.”