Alistair Overeem details fight with Fedor Emelianenko being declined three times since 2010

alistair overeem
Alistair Overeem UFC: UFC 141

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title challenger Alistair Overeem claims Russian mixed martial arts legend Fedor Emelianenko declined a fight against him three different times over the last 11 years.

When Bellator announced that former PRIDE FC heavyweight king Emelianenko would return to action this October, observers of the sport hoped to see him compete against a fellow aged former great of the division. Names like Junior dos Santos, Josh Barnett, and Overeem were suggested by fans and Bellator President Scott Coker as possible opponents. However, the sought-after opportunity instead went to recent interim title contender Timothy Johnson.

Alistair Overeem claims Fedor Emelianenko declined to fight him three times

In a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, the former Strikeforce heavyweight titleholder, and current MMA free agent, spoke about his recent failed attempt to score a matchup with “The Last Emperor” at Bellator’s October event in Moscow, and how that was far from the first time that team Emelianenko turned down the opportunity for a booking against him.

“We tried to make, a little bit, that Fedor fight [in October], and that was kind of radio silence on that end. But that would be something I was interested in” … “We tried to make that fight in 2010 when he fought [Fabricio Werdum] and I fought Brett Rogers — declined,” Overeem recalled.

“After he lost to Werdum, we tried to make that fight. He declined, and now he has declined. So that’s three declines, so I think, with all due respect, but there is no interest from that side to fight me, and I cannot blame Fedor. Listen, I’m getting a little bit older, myself. A little bit, not too much. He’s a little older than me, I think he’s 45 or 46, so I understand. But I have done everything I can do to make that fight happen — 10 years ago, but also now.”

Before joining the UFC, Overeem, 41, and Emelianenko both competed under the Strikeforce banner. However, the two heavyweight greats never crossed paths. Not even in the promotion’s heavyweight Grand Prix in 2011.

“The Demolition Man” saw his 10 year run in the UFC come to an end in March after the promotion released him following a technical knockout loss to top-10 talent Alexander Volkov.

Overeem (47-19) recently came to terms with kickboxing organization Glory, where he will compete for the organization’s heavyweight title on October 23.

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