Earlier this month UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was injured while working takedowns with Alistair Overeem. Their coach Greg Jackson described the accident as "just one of those things," and not malicious on Overeem's part. Further, Jon Hamm, a witness to the accident and top heavyweight amateur boxer starting out in MMA, witnessed what happened, and said there was no bad intent on 'Reem's part.
Team member Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone pointedly made the same point - Overeem is a good team member, and not irresponsible in his sparring.
Russian heavyweight and team member Ruslan Magomedov offered an explanation - Overeem is just trying to show he is at the top of the heap at Jackson's.
"Overeem has just come to the gym. I think, he just tries to show how tough he is, that he can beat everyone," said Magmov to FightNights.ru, as translated by . "Maybe that's why he goes hard. But I don't feel he does it on purpose. He didn't want to injure Arlovski since he knew Andrei has Bigfoot rematch lined up. He just decided to show that he's one of the best HW's in the world, that's all! And Arlovski could actually become his next opponent. If Andrei goes past Bigfoot, he can easily be matched up against Overeem, in my opinion."
The issue surfaced again when teammate Andrei Arlovski was quoted as saying there is a high rate of injury among Overeem's sparring partners.
'Reem to Instragram with a defense.
"Sometimes amazing how media twist and turns things," wrote Overeem. "For ratings unfortunately I suppose. But rest assured, me and AA go hard inside the gym! To better each other. And after were all good and drink together. Non alcoholic of-course cos both our fights are coming up! And for the people attempting to throw gas on the fire... Don't worry - I'm a firm believer in karma - your time will come :-)
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