The following are highlights of a new Submission Radio interview with Alistair Overeem:
Was he surprised that he got Ben Rothwell even though he said he was interested in Mark Hunt or Josh Barnett “The heavyweight division is not that big, so for me it’s like whatever. You know, I just need to make sure that I’m ready for anybody, and to make some changes I’m now training at Greg Jackson’s.”
On what Challenges Ben Rothwell brings to the table “He’s a strong guy, he likes to bang, that’s obviously something that I gotta watch out for, he’s kind of well rounded although I wouldn’t say that the submission is something that I have to watch out for. I mean he’s got his wrestling, he’s got his banging, his striking, he’s heavy, he’s big, he’s strong, he’s much heavier than I am.”
On his weight and whether he’ll pack on more size for Ben Rothwell or stay slim “I’m eyeing the title, and title fights are five round fights, and even if you’re not fighting for the title you’re fighting main events. So you’ve gotta be ready for that five-rounder, and cardio is one of the key components. I’ve just been focusing on my job, on what is important, and you know strength of course is important, but even when you lose a couple of pounds I’m still just as strong.”
His current weight, his recent twitter pic and if he’d ever move back to Light Heavyweight “I’m at 250 now.”
“No, I like to eat. I like to be big, I like to be strong. And to be honest I can’t even make 205. You know, that would be unhealthy, so no 205 for me anymore.
On training at Greg Jackson’s and what the vibe is like “Well chemistry in that gym has been amazing, I’m learning every day, I get along with everybody, yeah it’s just really mellow, everybody’s just being themselves. There’s no egos in the gym, that’s what the coaches make sure of, leave your ego outside, and you know it works.”
“I’m there every day, I’m learning, developing, just focusing on what’s important; and that’s that thing, when egos are involved, that’s where the focus is at, and when there’s no egos you just focus on the training, and that’s what’s happening and I’m having a great time.
“So I’m very happy that I made that decision, also the city of Albuquerque is a great place, the people are so friendly, very open. It kind of reminds me of back in Holland, very laid back, not flashy at all. And I mean the city is a little bit slow, it can be a little bit boring in the sense that there is not that much to do, but it allows me to focus on what is important, and that’s training.”
On training with Jon Jones and If he’ll help train with him for the Gustafsson fight: “Jon Jones came in yesterday for his upcoming fight with Gustafsson and (I) worked with him a little bit, also very humble guy even though he’s champion and destroying everybody. (He’s a) very good guy to work with as well, and good techniques. So I’m looking forward to working with more in the future, but the whole crew, everybody’s just great.”
“Of course I’ll offer my services, if he needs me moving forward I’ll be there for him. And I think I’ll definitely train with him for this fight.”
Thought on Jon Jones moving up to Heavyweight: “He’s a big guy, he’s like my length but a little bit thinner, and lighter a little bit, but of course he has all the chance in the world. He’s already very advanced, he’s the champion in light heavyweight, so of course he’s gonna do good in Heavyweight. Like I said, that Heavyweight division is not that stacked, so for him to enter would be an amazing thing and I think he’ll do great.”
“He’s a big guy, he can go to Heavyweight whenever he wants and I’m sure he’s gonna do great. I mean, he’s very creative and I see him already beating a lot of Heavyweights as is now. So he can go whenever he wants, but there’s still a couple of challenges left for him in Light Heavyweight. I mean his upcoming fight with Gustafsson will be very exciting and then after that Cormier is coming, the dark horse. So plenty of challenges for him before he can come to Heavyweight, but eventually it’s gonna happen.”
If he sees himself staying at Jackson/Winkeljohn’s for good: “I feel great, I’m developing every day, but I’m not gonna be jaded into a false sense of security. You know, you always have to be sharp and always have to wanna improve, and always have to work for it. But I’d say that at the moment I’m feeling very confident, very comfortable, and yeah, as long as I feel this way, there’s no need to change anything. So far so good, so far so great.”
On still wanting to fighting Junior Dos Santos: “Yes, he’s definitely somebody on the list. I could see myself definitely fight him after this fight.”
“I’m still recovering from the surgery, but the outlook is %100 percent, and then JDS is definitely a fight that I want to make happen.”
Thoughts and predictions on the Cain/Werdum fight, who he’s like to fight: “Well it’s hard to predict because Cain is a tough bastard and Fabricio is a tricky bastard.”
“It can go both ways, I just don’t know. Cain doesn’t fight that often so it’s hard to gauge his improvement level, and Fabricio is improving all the time.”
“60/40 for Cain, but don’t rule out Fabricio. Many times people have ruled him out, and every time he keeps crawling back. He’s tough, like a cockroach.”
“Still I think Cain should get him, 60/40 for Cain. But, but I would like to fight Fabricio for the title. And on my own personal goals I definitely see a UFC title upcoming. You know, it’s been a little bit of a rough time, a lot of changes. Changes are never good, usually are for the better, as you see in my case it wasn’t. But yeah, now everything is kind of settled down and I definitely see a new title coming.”
On training with Frank Mir after their last fight: “I don’t think Mir is training here anymore. We’ve been texting a little bit back and forth, but I think he’s based in Vegas and I believe he’s just working out there. And I don’t even know what his next fight is gonna be like or what’s next for him.”
Check out the complete interview above.