As of late, it seems to be almost routine for fighters to throw the UFC under the bus.
Not Alistair Overeem.
The former Strikeforce heavyweight champion signed a new fight contract with the promotion earlier this week after becoming a free agent. And for “The Reem,” there was no looking elsewhere.
“I didn’t talk to anybody else,” he said, during an appearance on The MMA Hour (thanks to MMAFighting.com for transcribing). “I can tell you this, also – the UFC is where the best fighters are at and I consider myself the best fighter. I belong in the UFC. That’s how simple it is.
“The UFC has been very cordial, very gentlemanly towards me and I’m very happy. I’m very excited. The UFC is the prime fight promotion in the world.”
Former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson recently signed with Bellator after his fight contract expired with the UFC. Others, such as Phil Davis, Josh Thomson and Josh Koscheck, have done the same. On the same day that Overeem announced his decision, bantamweight prospect Aljamain Sterling did the same, agreeing to a new deal with Zuffa.
For Overeem, the chase to become UFC champion is as close as ever. He has won three straight fights, including a recent victory over former titleholder Junior dos Santos.
But first, he will likely headline the first-ever UFC card in Rotterdam, Holland in May.
“End of 2016, I will be champion,” he said. “May 8, whoever they put in front of me, I’m going to finish that person and then it’s going to be a title shot. I don’t know when that’s going to happen, whether it’s going to be after the summer; could be the end of the year.”