Alistair Overeem revealed that he didn’t think that Fabricio Werdum would make it big in the MMA industry
In a recent interview, Overeem recalled how he met the Brazilian newcomer and witnessed Werdum’s Pride debut over ten years ago. Today, Werdum is now at the peak of his career and managed to be on top of the heavyweight division.
Werdum, who is now the reigning UFC heavyweight MMA champ and is at the first spot in MMAjunke and USA Today Sports MMA heavyweight rankings, is the perfect inspiration for fellow MMA fighters like Overeem.
“I still remember his first fight in PRIDE. That was 2003 (actually, it was 2005). I never would have thought he would become a champion. He became a champion, so for me, that’s a great inspiration. Keep on going, keep the body healthy, keep motivated, keep positive, and great things will happen,” Overeem said.
This motivational words certainly worked for Werdum. The heavyweight MMA champion left the UFC back in 2008 and moved to Strikeforce. During his stay in Strikeforce, Werdum had an unforgettable victory over Fedor Emelianenko via submission. Later on, both Werdum and Overeem moved to the octagon when the two MMA promotion companies merged.
Now that Werdum is back in the UFC, the champ has managed to get a six-fight winning streak in the UFC. Aside from this, Werdum was able to snag the no. 1 spot in the heavyweight division by winning over Cain Velasquez. Overeem, on the other hand, didn’t have long winning streaks like Werdum, but he is now aiming to get his third straight victory.
“For me personally, it’s a test,” Overeem said.
“If I beat him, I think I’m ready for a title (shot). There’s only one goal left, and that’s a UFC title. If I look at Werdum, he’s been such a tremendous development. For me, that’s an inspiration. He came out of nowhere. I really have the mentality of may be the best man win. Again, Werdum has my admiration because he really came out of nowhere and kept winning and defeated Cain. But I don’t have a problem with Cain. May the best man win,” he added.
But, there’s a possible loophole with this game plan.
Overeem is getting inside the cage for last time because his UFC contract is about to end. If he wins or if he loses the bout, would he think about leaving the promotion – risking the possibility of foregoing a chance for the title – and try to entertain other opportunities?
“For me personally, I’m 100 percent focused on this fight – 100 percent focused on this fight since my last fight, with Roy Nelson in March. So I’m not really going to discuss any other options or possibilities. … All the other stuff will come after,” Overeem clarified.