Alistair Overeem understands he is in the twilight of his career, but is looking to bow out of the sport on a high note.
Overeem is set to face Alexander Volkov at UFC Vegas 18 on February 6th. The top six heavyweights were previously booked to headline UFC St. Petersburg in April 2019, but the fight was scrapped after the Russian pulled out due to health issues.
Volkov was replaced by Aleksei Oleinik, who lost to Overeem via first round TKO.
The former heavyweight title challenger is on quite a run, as he has won four out of his last five fights, all via stoppages. Speaking to MMA Junkie, Overeem said he’s in peak shape ahead of his fight against Volkov.
“He’s definitely grew as a fighter, but I also grew as a fighter [since we were last booked],” Overeem said. “I think I’m the most dangerous to fight right now. I’m in the peak performance I’ve ever been or am, so I’m just very excited the fight is happening now. Timing for me is perfect and it is.”
Expecting A Good Fight
Although Volkov is on a rocky path as of late as he has lost two of his last four fights, Overeem believes his opponent is very well-rounded, and the UFC Vegas 18 main event is going to be a good one.
“He’s [good] all around,” Overeem stated. “He’s got kicks, he’s got hand strikes, he’s got ground, he’s got grappling. I think he’s dangerous everywhere. He’s got reach, so it’s going to be an interesting battle. But I feel very ready. Camp has been good. It’s going to be a good fight.”
UFC Gold And Retirement
Overeem, a former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion, is one of the many legendary figures in the sport who failed to win a UFC title. However, with the clock ticking on his illustrious career, ‘The Reem’ plans to make one final run to capture UFC gold.
“There definitely is momentum because we’re two wins [in a row],” Overeem said. “I think my fights are good, they’re exciting. I think we’ve just got to keep this trajectory going and another title shot will be there, and that will be my last because my time is running out, which is fine. I’ve had a great career, I’m having a great career. But we also have to be realistic, and that’s a little bit where the final run comes from. I’m not going to keep fighting until I’m 45. It’s going to be one final run, then it’s going to be thank you everybody for watching, and see you in the next life.”
The UFC title is certainly the only remaining feather in Overeem’s cap, as he plans to retire immediately after winning the belt.
“I would retire immediately [after winning the title]. There’s nothing to prove at that point,” Overeem said.
Overeem challenged champion Stipe Miocic for the title at UFC 203, but he lost via first round TKO. He last fought against Augusto Sakai at UFC Vegas 9, winning the fight via a fifth round TKO.
Do you think Alistair Overeem can go on to become the UFC heavyweight champion before he hangs up his gloves?