Ariel HelwaniI: “I remember after your win over Brett Rogers, so much momentum, you know, it was such a dominant win, everyone was talking, a lot of buzz about you back here in Strikeforce. Do you feel as though you’ve lost a little bit of that because it’s taken over a year for you to come back?”
Alistair Overeem: “Well, it was not my fault it took over a year to come back. We tried to put together the fight against (Fabricio) Werdum, the winner of the Werdum/Fedor fight. Werdum was injured, needed surgery on his elbow, so he was out. Fedor declined to fight me for the second time. At that point, I decided to compete in the K-1 GP because there were no fights for me in Strikeforce and, yeah, basically did that.
“I tried to put together the fight in May when I was fighting Brett Rogers. That was basically their idea. Their answer was, ‘we’re not going to fight you on May 15th, you can fight somebody else and we’re going to fight somebody else.”
AH: “Why do you think they declined for a second time?”
AO: “Well, I can’t read their mind… but they don’t want to fight me, obviously. And, ummm… yeah. I don’t know what’s going through their minds. I don’t know, can’t give an answer about that but I tried to put together that fight, we tried hard. Challenging in public, management negotiations, but they really did not want to fight me. First time when I fought Brett Rogers they did not want to and the second time they also did not want to and that forced me to fight in the K-1 which I also like to do and which resulted in the K-1 title."
AH: “You’re obviously on a winning impressive streak, but earlier in your career you had a few losses. One of them was to Fabricio Werdum. Was this a fight that you always wanted to avenge a lost to Werdum that you always want to rectify, was this one that always kind of stuck with you?”
AO: “One of these fights that you’re not entirely in shape, or actually in bad shape going into the fight. These were one of these fights and I don’t want to look back too much because I’m not the character to do that and if you didn’t bring it up, I wouldn’t have brought it up. But, going into that fight, I wasn’t fit, I just had a surgery, the surgery had a bad impact on my body, on my conditioning and the doctor said I would be back in shape in one week but it took like a month and then a week later was the fight. So, yeah, it was one of those fights that kept nagging me and I’ve been wanting this re-match for a long time. Very happy I got it now and, yeah, it’s going to be on Showtime Saturday.”
AH: “What do you think of Werdum saying that he’s going to after your other arm this time and submit you? Is that a challenge?”
AO: “Yeah, I don’t really listen to what he says. His English is not that good, anyways. Also, speak of, yeah, ‘Alistair is my son.’ I still do not know exactly know what that means. I still don’t, when I think about it, what does it mean?”
“For me, it doesn’t mean anything because I don’t know what it means. Maybe it’s a cultural thing or something, yeah.”
AH: “I had someone call my show, The MMA Hour… ‘why is Alistair so low in everyone’s rankings? why don’t you have him Top 2, Top 3? How could you put Brock Lesnar over him?’ Do you even look at those rankings? Do you use them as motivation and you do understand why some people don’t have you as high in the rankings because you haven’t fought Top 10 fighters in the heavyweight division consistently over the last couple years?”
AO: “I understand it very well. There is an argument that you could say Alistair is not Top 10 or not Top 5 because he has not fought this guy and that guy but umm… I think where the fans get their motivation is that I did fight a lot, I did have a lot of knockouts or submissions. I am the only fighter to hold a major MMA belt as well as the K-1 organization (belt), something that nobody has ever done that before, so… there’s arguments, there’s argument for both ways. But I can understand people, yeah, who don’t place me in the Top 5. But I also understand why people say he’s the #1 or #2 or #3. But, you know, the only way to find out is for those fights to happen and now that Zuffa has bought Strikeforce it’s one step closer and we’re going to see in the coming years. I’m going to make sure that I’m damn ready.”