It’s news that hardcore MMA fans have been waiting to hear for years: Alistair Overeem has signed with the UFC.
The hulking Dutchman will make his debut with the organization this December 30 against former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, but not too long ago it looked like he might be relegated to fighting against second-tier competition in Japan. Owing to a payment dispute between his management team Golden Glory and Zuffa, LLC, Overeem and the rest of his Golden Glory teammates were released from the UFC and Strikeforce.
Having now reached an agreement that landed The Reem inside the UFC, Golden Glory front man Martin De Jong explained during a recent appearance on TapouT Radio (props to Crookyln’s Corner for the transcription) that he and his charge could not be happier with how things played out.
“We’re very excited, especially because we had a major setback when he (Overeem) was pulled out of the tournament. We’re very happy that Golden Glory management and ZUFFA came to an agreement, and squashed everything. We’re happy to sign with the UFC because we want to fight only the best in the world, and we believe they are all in the UFC. We’re very happy.”
Currently, Overeem is touring the states scouting locations for a possible move and future training camps. After that and some media obligations, De Jong stated that Overeem will hit the gym in preparation for his blockbuster bout against Lesnar.
“Right now he’s in America, enjoying a little holiday over there, and after that, he will go to Japan and do a little promotion that was already scheduled,” he said. “After that, he will come back to Holland and we will start training camp.”
The two behemoths will meet at UFC 141 this December 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in a five-round, non-title fight that will likely determine the next challenger to the UFC heayweight belt.