Exclusive interview with the recent triumphant of K-1, Alistair Overeem, in which he makes open statement to Fedor Emelinanenko, talks about “Steroid Bully” accusations from M-1, goes over his fantastic documentary (“The Reem”) and opens up about his plans for 2011.
Alistair, let me congratulate you with the recent victory over Ben Edwards. Very impressive performance. Did everything go as you expected? Was the plan to look for openings and counter-attack with the hooks?
Yes, the fight went as expected because I have stated that it would be a KO in the first or second round (laughs). But you never know how a fight ends and wasn’t a specific plan to counter him like I did but you train everything and you have to be prepared for everything. You never know what a opponent Is going to do. I can tell you Ben Edwards is a powerful and strong guy and he will do good in his second fight.
What’s the schedule now, will you take any time off before preparing for the finals on December 11?
Between now and December 11 is not very much time so I don’t have much time to take off. So I will start my training next week or so, I will take some time off after the Final.
How will your preparation go? Will it be again most of the training back in Holland with the final 3 weeks in Pattaya, or something will be different this time?
You are right it will be something like that. I will do some training in Holland of course and our plan is to go back to Thailand to finish my preparation there.
There are 3 guys out of 8 in the finals from the Golden Glory Team, does it bother you at all that you may face your training partner advancing through the tournament? Will both of you go full force against each other if this happens?
We are professionals and we knew beforehand this could happen. It’s not ideal to fight a training partner and friend but we all trained for that moment to become K-1 champion so that something we have to accept unfortunately.
Many people predict you and Semmy in the finals. You have been sparring together for over 7 years now. What are your thoughts on the fight if it actually happens. Did you guys talk about it?
I think it would be a good fight, I know a lot of fans would love to see a fight between me and Semmy Schilt. We make some jokes about it but we don’t discuss it that much because we both feel that there is a big chance that we will fight each other.
K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 Final 8
Let’s switch to MMA now. Last week, the great Fedor Emelianenko made very uncharacteristic comments, saying that you are “running away from him". Here is his direct quote: “Today, Strikeforce cannot find me a serious opponent. Alistair Overeem finding all kind of excuses not to fight me” Then Fedor also said that you declined a fight against him.
Here we go again (laughs). There was a lot of discussion if this was really Fedor saying that because people where telling that Fedor would never give a reaction like that. I know for a fact that M-1 does most of the talking when Fedor is interviewed in writing so I’m not surprised if M-1 gave this answer. On the other hand it could also be that Fedor made these comments but was not well informed by M-1 about the negotiation with Strikeforce and myself. M-1 is doing a great job of keeping Fedor away of the true reality about what is going on. If Fedor reads the internet especially in the US then he will be shocked how many bad things have been said about him and especially M-1. They singlehandedly destroyed the legacy Fedor had with all their weird demands and strange comments during the year. So I hope Fedor read this and will tell him exactly what happened. You challenged me to late and I was already committed for the K-1 and don’t blame me because I was calling you out for more than a year but your management company gave all sort of excuses not to fight me. They need months of negotiations with Strikeforce before they can make a fight happen and I’m not the person that’s going to wait for you because I want to fight as much as I can. I’m more than happy to fight you but now you have to wait for me this time, sorry about that (laughs)
Could you please comment on this situation? We all know about your K-1 commitment, but were there an offer to fight Fedor before October? What about his first 2 fights in Strikeforce, did Fedor have a chance to fight against you instead of Brett and Fabricio?
When I was belt holder at the time, I challenged Fedor when I was in Japan for the first time just when news came out he signed with Strikeforce. I was able to fight Fedor but he choose Brett Rogers. I can understand that decision because Strikeforce and M-1 want to build him before putting him against me and wanted a sort of tune up fight. After that fight I challenged him again and then all the discussion came; Vadim telling he wanted a special drug testing and calling me a steroid bully and I wasn’t a worthy opponent for Fedor and all those things. The good thing is that M-1 is making so many contradictions that they look like fools, it’s crazy; calling me a steroid bully but express the desire to fight Josh Barnett or how about this, saying I’m not a worthy opponent but choose Brett Rogers as first opponent. So M-1 have to do damage control again (laughs). Then they made the decision to fight Werdum over me so I could fight Brett Rogers instead. My fight was first and I won the fight, then I flew to the States to challenge the winner Werdum vs Fedor. I was hoping Fedor would win (I’m still a big fan) the fight but Werdum did, so as I promised I challenged Werdum. Then Werdum and Fedor where saying that they rather have a rematch with each other. Unfortunately Werdum had a surgery on his elbow so he was out. M-1 was still saying that Fedor would rather fight Werdum because the fans want that fight the most, there we have another lie again. If you look at all the internet polls you could clearly see that the fans wanted Fedor vs me. Even on their own international website m-1global.com you could see that! They quickly put down the poll when I said it in the media. Then to make things more crazy; Fedor challenged me!! The first time in history Fedor ever challenged somebody, but sorry I was already committed with the K-1 and I know that M-1 knew that I had said yes to K-1. They wanted to blame me for not fighting with Fedor on December.. Then I came up with the perfect solution; Fedor fighting Antonio Silva and then me versus Werdum and the winner of both fights will fight each other…Unfortunately M-1 didn’t want to fight Antonio Silva….. The soap continues….
Alistair comes over to US to challenge the winner of Fedor - Werdum fight
Also, just yesterday, Werdum’s camp made a statement that they would prefer togive a rematch to Fedor over fighting you for the championship belt.
I stay with what I said; Werdum beat Fedor so Werdum is in line for the title. It’s too bad that Werdum is saying that kind of things in public. It doesn’t give a lot of credit to the belt and is a little disrespectful towards Strikeforce. I’ve never heard in my life that somebody doesn’t want to fight for the belt, I believe I’m a worthy opponent so why does Werdum rather fight Fedor. I’m not going to be sad about it (laughs) and if Fedor still wants to fight me, then I’m honored and more than willing to fight him.
Your “The Reem” video documentary is just beyond any praises. It’s fantastic, best MMA documentary ever made. Is that something you will keep doing or is there an end date with “Grand Finale” to it?
To be honest; I don’t know yet. I started this project in the hope I could find a sponsor that can support the documentary. It’s a big investment from my part and I pay for it myself. I do it for the fans so maybe I will keep doing it but I have to stay realistic. If we have a sponsor by the end of the year I promise I will keep continuing.
Your manager Bas Boon said that you will be fighting on Dynamite’s show for the New Year’s in Japan. Any words on the potential opponent(s)? Can this be a title fight that you wanted so bad before?
I expressed my desire to fight on the Dynamite show but it depends on how the tournament goes. Maybe I have to fight 3 fights so there is a big risk of injury but if I’m injury free I would love to fight on New Year’s in Japan. My possible opponent; Fedor or Werdum (laughs) no I’m joking. It would be great if it’s for a title!
Finally, what are the plans for 2011? Will we see you more in MMA cage, or will it be a mix of K-1 and MMA, like in 2009 and 2010.
I don’t know, first a little holiday and then I was hoping to fight Werdum in April/May and then a couple of months later again for Strikeforce and then we will see.