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Alistair Overeem Bio

Alistair Cees Overeem (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈoːvəreːm], English /ˈoʊvəriːm/; born 17 May 1980) is a British-born Dutch mixed martial artist and kickboxer. He is a former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion, DREAM Interim Heavyweight Champion, K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, and is one of only 2 fighters to hold world titles in both MMA and K-1 kickboxing at the same time. As of 26 February 2017, he is #3 in official UFC heavyweight rankings. He holds notable victories over 6 former UFC champions: Andrei Arlovski (UFC Heavyweight Champion), Fabrício Werdum (UFC Heavyweight Champion), Frank Mir (two-time UFC Heavyweight Champion), Brock Lesnar (UFC Heavyweight Champion), Junior dos Santos (UFC Heavyweight Champion), and Vitor Belfort (UFC Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight Tournament Champion).

Contents

  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Mixed martial arts career
    • 2.1 Early MMA career
    • 2.2 PRIDE FC
    • 2.3 Debut in Strikeforce
    • 2.4 Return to PRIDE
    • 2.5 Return to Strikeforce/DREAM/Dynamite
    • 2.6 Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix
    • 2.7 Removal from GP/Strikeforce
    • 2.8 Ultimate Fighting Championship
      • 2.8.1 Failed drug test
      • 2.8.2 Return
  • 3 Kickboxing career
  • 4 Fighting style
  • 5 Personal life
    • 5.1 Legal issues
  • 6 Championships and accomplishments
    • 6.1 Kickboxing
    • 6.2 Mixed martial arts
    • 6.3 Submission grappling
    • 6.4 Records
  • 7 Mixed martial arts record
  • 8 Kickboxing record
  • 9 See also
  • 10 References
  • 11 External links

Biography

Overeem was born in Hounslow, England to a Jamaican father and a Dutch mother. When he was six years old, his parents divorced and he moved with his mother and older brother to the Netherlands. As a child, Overeem competed in judo, track and field and basketball. At the age of 15, Overeem's older brother Valentijn took him to Chris Dolman's MMA gym to learn to defend himself. Alistair initially did not like the sport, but he dedicated fully to it after meeting Bas Rutten and Joop Kasteel.

Mixed martial arts career

Overeem had his first MMA professional fight at 19 years old, defeating Ricardo Fyeet by submission on 24October1999(1999-10-24) at It's Showtime, the first event of the eponymously named promotion.

Early MMA career

After posting a 10–3 record in RINGS, M-1, It's Showtime, and 2 Hot 2 Handle, Overeem debuted in the Pride Fighting Championships on 20 July 2002, defeating Yusuke Imamura by TKO in just 44 seconds.

PRIDE FC

Overeem won two more fights in Pride before entering the 2003 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix at Pride Total Elimination 2003 and losing to future UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell in the quarterfinal match. Overeem rebounded to defeat Tomohiko Hashimoto at the Inoki Bom-Ba-Ye 2003 in 36 seconds. On 31 October 2004, Overeem fought Hiromitsu Kanehara, defeating him by TKO in the second round at Pride 28. Overeem lost his next fight against Brazilian Top Team fighter Antônio Rogério Nogueira.

In 2005, Overeem entered the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix at Pride Total Elimination 2005 where he defeated former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort, by submission, in the opening round. Overeem would move on to fight Igor Vovchanchyn in the quarterfinals at Pride Critical Countdown 2005 taking under two minutes to win via submission. Overeem lost in the semifinals to the eventual champion Maurício Rua.

In February 2006, Overeem fought Russian Top Team favourite Sergei Kharitonov. Overeem won, dislocating Kharitonov's shoulder in the process. With his win over Kharitonov, Overeem secured a spot in the PRIDE 2006 Openweight Grand Prix at Pride Total Elimination Absolute. He fought Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Fabrício Werdum, and lost via kimura in the second round.

Debut in Strikeforce

After his loss, Overeem travelled to San Jose, California to rematch Vitor Belfort at Strikeforce: Revenge. Overeem won the fight by decision in the evening's main event.

Return to PRIDE

A month later Overeem returned to PRIDE for a highly anticipated rematch with Antônio Rogério Nogueira. Overeem entered the fight with a heavily-taped neck. After controlling the first round and a half with his striking, Overeem was stumbled from a punch, and Nogueira followed with a flurry of strikes. Worried Overeem would be more severely injured, his corner threw in the towel.

At Pride Final Conflict Absolute, Overeem lost to Ricardo Arona. Overeem was on the receiving end of a leg kick that caused a non-serious injury to his nerves, causing him to lose feeling in his foot and leg. Unable to mount an offence or defend against Arona, Overeem tapped out to avoid further injury.

He then suffered another KO loss to Maurício Rua at Pride 33, but returned in June 2007 with a submission win over Michael Knaap at K-1 Grand Prix in Amsterdam (despite K-1 being a kickboxing promotion, the bout was fought under MMA rules).

On 17 September 2007, at the Hero's 10: Middleweight Tournament Final, Alistair faced Sergei Kharitonov again. Overeem showed solid movement as soon as the first round began, but he suffered a KO loss just before the end of the first round.

Return to Strikeforce/DREAM/Dynamite

On 16 November 2007, Overeem defeated Paul Buentello for the vacant Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship by submission due to knee strikes. aOn 15 June 2008 Overeem won by KO in the first round against Lee Tae-Hyun at DREAM 4. On 21 July 2008, Overeem defeated K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Mark Hunt in the first round by submission at Dream 5: Lightweight Grand Prix 2008 Final Round.

His next fight was against Mirko Filipović at Dream 6 on 23 September 2008. About halfway through a first round which saw Overeem take down Filipović multiple times and effectively strike from the top position, cutting his Croatian foe, the bout was stopped and declared a no contest due to Overeem landing multiple knees to the groin of Filipović.

Overeem was rumoured to make his first title defence against Brett Rogers on 6 June at Strikeforce: Lawler vs. Shields, however a hand injury scuttled plans for the fight. According to Golden Glory manager Bas Boon, Overeem had suffered a hand infection following a nightclub brawl early May 2009. According to Boon, Alistair and his brother Valentijn – both heavyweights – had been involved in an altercation that left five security staff needing hospital treatment and nearly cost Alistair his hand.

Overeem was scheduled to make his first Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship defence in a rematch against Fabrício Werdum at Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg, but had to pull out due to a hand injury, most likely caused from his nightclub brawl.

Alistair defeated Tony Sylvester at Golden Glory's 10-year anniversary celebration with a standing guillotine choke. He used the same choke only eight days later to submit James Thompson at Dream 12.

Overeem was set to face Andrei Arlovski at Dynamite!! 2009, but FEG instead opted to have him face Kazuyuki Fujita to keep with the DREAM vs. Sengoku theme. Overeem quickly overpowered his opponent and recorded a knockout with a knee to the head.

Overeem next faced Brett Rogers on 15 May 2010 at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery to defend his Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship. He won the fight via TKO in the first round. In his post-fight interview, Overeem declared for another time that he wants to fight Fedor Emelianenko, claiming that Fedor's management can no longer ignore his presence. The majority of Alistair Overeem's pre-fight training camp took place at the newly opened Golden Glory Gym in Pattaya, Thailand, where "The Demolition Man" concentrated on the further improvement of his Muay Thai skills.

Overeem faced Todd Duffee on 31 December 2010 at Dynamite!! 2010. He defeated Duffee by way of knockout 19 seconds into the first round to win the interim DREAM Heavyweight Championship.

Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix

In early 2011, Overeem was named as one of eight men that will take part of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, alongside Fabrício Werdum, Sergei Kharitonov, Brett Rogers, Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski, Antônio Silva and Fedor Emelianenko.

A rematch with Fabrício Werdum took place on 18 June 2011, at Strikeforce: Dallas as part of an eight-man heavyweight tournament. Overeem defeated Werdum by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Removal from GP/Strikeforce

On 17 July, it was announced that Overeem was removed from the promotion's 2011 Heavyweight Grand Prix. Overeem went on to state that he felt the September date was too soon for him to return, and that he needed time to rest and heal after his 18 June quarterfinal decision win over Fabrício Werdum. Overeem was swapped out for unbeaten up-and-comer Daniel Cormier. Subsequently, on 29 July, it was announced that Overeem had been released from the Strikeforce organization as Zuffa exercised their right to eliminate the one remaining fight on his contract. It was revealed that the reason behind Overeem's release from Strikeforce was not due to his unwillingness to participate in the Grand Prix semifinals, but due to Golden Glory's policy requiring that the money fighters made through fights be paid through their management first.

This disagreement led not only to Overeem's release but also other Golden Glory stars under a Zuffa contract, including former Strikeforce Women's Bantamweight Champion Marloes Coenen, Norwegian UFC Heavyweight Jon Olav Einemo, and even brother Valentijn Overeem. Team Golden Glory leader Bas Boon stated he has since changed the policy, and that Alistair Overeem could come to the UFC under an exclusive deal, if the right terms are offered, which he later received.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

After much speculation, on 6 September 2011, it was announced that Overeem had signed a contract with the UFC, and that his first fight would be against former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar on 30 December 2011 at UFC 141.

The lead up to the fight was rife with controversy. In November 2011, both competitors were required by the NSAC to comply with out-of-competition drug testing. Lesnar delivered his sample screen on 21 November, while Overeem delivered his on 23 November. The screen, however, did not meet the standards of the commission. Overeem submitted a second test through his personal physician – which was also deemed unacceptable – before flying out of the country. Overeem was ultimately given a conditional license for the fight by the committee during a meeting held on 12 December 2011.

On 30 December 2011, at UFC 141, Overeem made his UFC debut in the main event against Brock Lesnar. Overeem hurt Lesnar multiple times early on with knees to the body, and went on to finish the fight with a kick to the liver and subsequent punches at 2:26 of the first round. The victory earned him a heavyweight title shot against champion Junior dos Santos.

Failed drug test

In 2009, Zabit Samedov accused Overeem, Errol Zimmerman and Badr Hari for steroid use during their fights. His claims were supported by Badr Hari and Ruslan Karaev.

Overeem was scheduled to fight UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos on 26 May 2012 at UFC 146. However, on 4 April 2012, Overeem was revealed to have failed his pre-fight drug test by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). Overeem had a 14-to-1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio, over the allowed ratio rate of 6-to-1. On Friday 20 April 2012 UFC President Dana White confirmed that Overeem had been removed from his fight with dos Santos and replaced by Frank Mir.

One day prior to his meeting with the NSAC, Overeem released a prepared statement to the media in which he claims the positive result of the drug test came as a result of a doctor prescribed "anti-inflammatory medication that was mixed with testosterone." Overeem's lawyer filed a continuation request for additional time to gather support for his recent claim, which was voted on by the NSAC on 24 April 2012. The request was denied and the NSAC voted unanimously to deny Overeem's application status for a period of nine months, dating back to 27 March, the day of his drug test. He was allowed to reapply after this time period in December 2012.

Return

Overeem returned to face Antônio Silva on 2 February 2013 at UFC 156. Leading up to the fight, Overeem was dismissive of Silva's skills, claiming he was better than his opponent in every aspect of MMA. Despite being a heavy betting favourite and having won rounds one and two, an overconfident Overeem lost to Silva by TKO in the third round. After the fight it was revealed that Overeem actually had lower than normal T-E ratios.

Overeem was expected to face former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos on 25 May 2013 at UFC 160. However, in early March, Overeem pulled out of the bout citing an injury and was replaced by Mark Hunt.

For his third fight with the promotion, Overeem faced Travis Browne in the co-main event at UFC Fight Night 26 on 17 August 2013. Overeem was dominant early in the fight, attacking Browne with a flurry of knees and punches. Browne recovered and defeated Overeem via KO.

Overeem was scheduled to face Frank Mir on 16 November 2013 at UFC 167. However, the pairing was moved to 1 February 2014 at UFC 169. He defeated Mir by unanimous decision and called out Brock Lesnar in his post-fight interview.

Overeem injured his elbow and decided to take the time out to have surgery, expecting to return in September 2014. On 9 July, the UFC announced he would face Ben Rothwell on 5 September 2014 at UFC Fight Night 50. Rothwell defeated Overeem via TKO in the first round.

Overeem faced Stefan Struve at UFC on Fox 13 on 13 December 2014. He won the fight via KO in the first round.

Overeem next faced Roy Nelson on 14 March 2015 at UFC 185. He won the fight by unanimous decision.

A bout with Junior dos Santos was rescheduled for 19 December 2015 at UFC on Fox 17. He won the fight via TKO in the second round.

On 15 February 2016, Overeem announced that he had signed a new contract with the UFC.

Overeem faced Andrei Arlovski on 8 May 2016 at UFC Fight Night 87. He won the fight via TKO early in the second round. Subsequently, he earned his first Performance of the Night bonus.

Overeem faced Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight Championship on 10 September 2016 at UFC 203. He lost the fight via knockout in the first round. Both participants were awarded Fight of the Night honors.

Overeem faced Mark Hunt in a rematch on 4 March 2017 at UFC 209. He won the fight via knockout in the third round.

Kickboxing career

Overeem had his first professional kickboxing fight at the age of 17, in a K-1 rules fight on 15November1997(1997-11-15), winning the fight. After that he fought against Paul Hordijk, winning by decision on 14March1999(1999-03-14). Overeem then moved on to K-1, having two K-1 fights in six years against Errol Parris and Glaube Feitosa. Overeem was knocked out in both bouts and stayed with MMA from then on. He did not fight in K-1 for four more years.

On 31 December 2008, Overeem faced Badr Hari, one of K-1's top contenders, under K-1 rules. He defeated Hari by way of knockout in the first round. Subsequently, he faced Remy Bonjasky, the defending K-1 Champion. Overeem had success in the first and second rounds, but was knocked down by a right hook from Bonjasky in the third, who thereby secured a unanimous decision win. All three judges scored the bout 30–28 in favour of Bonjasky.

On 26 September at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final 16, having been selected by fan voting after his impressive performances against Remy Bonjasky and Badr Hari, Overeem shocked the kickboxing world by achieving a huge upset. He defeated K-1's longest serving member, legendary three-time champion Peter Aerts, by unanimous decision. At the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final, Overeem knocked out Kyokushin karate champion, Ewerton Teixeira, with a knee strike in the first round, but lost to Badr Hari via TKO in the semifinals.

At the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 in Yokohama, Overeem defeated Dzevad Poturak via KO (right knee) in round one at 2:40. Overeem defeated Ben Edwards by TKO in the first round on 2 October 2010 at K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final 16, which qualified him for the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix.

On 11 December, at the Ariake Coliseum, Overeem won the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final. In the quarterfinals, he beat Tyrone Spong by unanimous decision. In the semifinals, he defeated Gokhan Saki by first-round TKO after breaking Saki's right arm with a left middle kick. Saki's arm was already injured as a result of his previous fight with Daniel Ghita. In the finals, he fought Peter Aerts for a second time. Alistair came out aggressively and finished Aerts in the first round.

Fighting style

Overeem is considered one of the best rounded heavyweights in the sport, though he is mainly known for his excellence and power on the striking field. A kickboxer of the Dutch school of Muay Thai decorated in K-1 world tournaments, Overeem favours kicks to the body and legs and knee strikes from the clinch, which have been described as "devastating." His most famous finishing technique used to be the left knee to the midsection, which has served him to end many fights, but he switched to the left body kick instead late on his career. He is also proficent with left overhands and hooks once his opponents are worn down. On the grappling field, Overeem is universally known for his usage of the guillotine choke, a simple technique he uses to great effect thanks to his strength and height. Overeem was labeled as "the best grappler in Europe" after submitting all his opponents in the ADCC 2005 tryouts through this move.

Personal life

Overeem has a daughter named Storm, born 18 October 2006. He has a second daughter Yazz-ley Rey, born 27 February 2016.

Overeem's great-great grandfather was a slave on the island of Jamaica, who became a free man and bought a large tract of land on which he started a village, which has survived and prospered until this day. His white Dutch mother is a descendant of King William III of the Netherlands through one of his many illegitimate children.

Legal issues

In 2009, Alistair and his brother were involved in an altercation in a dance club in Holland. According to their manager Bas Boon, Alistair started arguing with a bouncer when he found himself without coins to pay the toilet woman, and was asked to leave by five other security workers. Valentijn intervened in his favour and was hit in the face with a flash light, which incited a brawl. The incident ended with five bouncers and Alistair himself having to go to the hospital, with the fighter forced to turn down a title fight due to a hand injury gained in the brawl.

On 1 January 2012 following his match with Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, Overeem shoved a woman in the face, "causing her to stagger back," at the Wynn Las Vegas at about 3am, according to the Las Vegas Police Department. Not arrested but summoned to court, Overeem was charged with misdemeanor battery and faced a maximum of six months in the Clark County Detention Center and a fine up to $1,000. On 28 March 2012, Overeem was given a suspended 90-day county jail sentence plus 50 hours of community service and anger management with the potential of the battery charge being dropped if the requirements are fulfilled.

Championships and accomplishments

Kickboxing

  • K-1
    • K-1 2009 World Grand Prix (Third place)
    • K-1 2010 World Grand Prix (Champion)

Mixed martial arts

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
    • Performance of the Night (One time)
    • Fight of the Night (One time)
  • Strikeforce
    • Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship (One time; First; Last; Only)
    • One successful title defence
  • PRIDE Fighting Championships
    • 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Semifinalist
  • DREAM
    • DREAM Interim Heavyweight Championship (One time; First; Last; Only)
  • 2 Hot 2 Handle
    • 2H2H Light Heavyweight Championship (One time)
    • 2H2H Light Heavyweight Tournament Winner
  • World MMA Awards
    • 2010 International Fighter of the Year
    • 2011 International Fighter of the Year
  • Sherdog
    • 2010 All-Violence Second Team
    • 2015 All-Violence Third Team

Submission grappling

  • ADCC Submission Wrestling World Championship
    • 2005 ADCC European Trials -98.9kg Winner

Records

  • Only fighter to simultaneously hold three championship belts
  • One of only two fighters to win a world championship in MMA and K-1

Mixed martial arts record

Kickboxing record

Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes

See also

External links

MMA Shirts




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