Alistair Overeem doesn’t view his UFC Fight Night 89 fight with Andrei Arlovski as a difficult one just because they train in the same gym.
Overeem, who will be competing in his home country on FOX Sports 1, told UFC Tonight that the whole ordeal doesn’t bother him.
“He keeps going on about this. I was not given a choice. Lorenzo texted me that they wanted me to headline this fight in Rotterdam. They wanted me to fight Arlovski. I said I was fine with it. He’s not my buddy. We don’t even train together. I don’t have a problem with it,” he said. “Sorry to open your eyes. This is a full-contact sport. It’s the objective to disable your opponent even if sparring or a real fight. You’ve got to use your technique. Yeah, I did disable him in training. He’s never been my friend. I’m OK with it.
“He’s training with Greg and Wink. I’m training with Chad Smith, the main wrestling coach, and the main BJJ coach, and I flew in some other coaches who I’ve been working with throughout my career. These are people I get along with very well and have good working relationship with.”
Overeem has scored three straight wins to improve to 40-14 in his career, including a December finish of former UFC champion Junior dos Santos.
A win over Arlovski would likely cement his status as the No. 1 contender, but the former Strikeforce champion isn’t getting ahead of himself just yet.
“I expect to get a title shot after I beat Andrei Sunday. But let’s not get ahead of it,” he said. “He’s going to want to knock my head off. It’s my job to stay sharp and focused. But if I win, I expect to get that title shot in November.”