There’s an unmistakable appeal to Dutch fighting sensation Alistair Overeem. Sure, it could be his larger-than-life Adonis frame, or his fondness for horse meat, or it could be the fact that he routinely puts his opponents to sleep.
In any event Overeem is a fighter that brings out the fans in droves. He’s arguably the most internationally known professional fighter in the game with cult followings in Japan, Amsterdam, and even here in the United States. This is partially due to his international fighting exploits, and partially due to his savvy self-marketing acumen. In fact, his The Reem online documentary is almost universally praised for its artistic direction.
Of course it would be easy to dismiss Overeem as a product of self-created hype if not for the fact that he rocks more gold than a Cash Money music video. With Overeem being the reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion, the DREAM heavyweight champion, and the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix champion, it might be safe to assume that Overeem is a the most accomplished MMA fighter in the world.
In yet another attempt to solidify his case as the preeminent heavyweight in the game today Overeem has entered Strikeforce’s Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament. Overeem will face Fedor conqueror Fabricio Werdum next Saturday in a quarterfinal match. On a conference call with assorted media Tuesday afternoon, Overeem reiterated the fact that he is excited to maintain his stature as a fighter by engaging against some of the best heavyweights the game has to offer.
“I like the challenges that lie in front of me,” Overeem stated Tuesday on a conference call with the media. “I’m a fighter. I love to fight. It’s what I do for a living. I’m just ready. I was read y three weeks ago.”
With a loss to Werdum occurring at PRIDE’s Open Weight Grand Prix back in 2006, Overeem seems motivated to avenge the loss suffered at the hands of his Brazilian counterpart.
“I have a lot of motivation, believe me,” explains Overeem. “I’m just happy this fight is happening. I’ve wanted to fight Fabricio and then this tournament came around. You are going to see next Saturday how motivated I am.”
But like many of the fans out there in the MMA universe, Overeem has his sights set on conquering the UFC’s Octagon in the near future.
"If I win the tournament, I personally, and I believe many fans, would love to see the winner of the tournament versus UFC champion Cain Velasquez,” said Overeem.
Of course there are more pressing matters at hand as Werdum is no slouch and has been riding a wave of confidence since usurping Fedor Emelianenko last year. Overeem is well of this fact and is not taking his eye of the prize of being crowned the winner of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.
“I believe every fighter in the tournament is good and experienced. You have to beat the best to become the best.“
“I’m taking this fight very serious. So yeah, it’s going to be an incredible fight.”
The Strikeforce Heavyweight Tournament World Grand Prix will continue on Saturday, June 18 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, and be aired live on Showtime (10 PM EST/9 PM CST)
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