The biggest threat to K-1 has appeared in the form of MMA expert Alistair Overeem. He not only beat one of K-1's brightest stars, Badr Hari, he also beat Peter Aerts, one of the sports' greatest legends. Now, he plans to win K-1's greatest prize, the K-1 WGP crown on December 5th at the Yokohama Arena! Can he be stopped!?
Q: Let's look at the Aerts fight.
Alistair: I'm really proud that I won that fight. It went just as I expected. It's a big deal that I beat one of K-1's legends. I'd seen him on TV fighting in K-1 when I was 12 or 13. As a fighter and as a person, I respect him. I was a little reluctant to beat him, but he knew what was coming. A fighter is a fighter. Once you're in the ring, you have to fight. I hear he's depressed that he's not in the top 8.
Q: You could say that MMA has beaten K-1.
Alistair: My fight against K-1 started when I fought Badr. I won that fight. I knew I could beat Remy, and though I didn't, I was able to fight advantageously. I fought the current champion and I damaged him. Against Peter, a newcomer like me defeated him so I'm proud of that.
Q: So the fight against K-1 isn't finished.
Alistair: It's hard to say when it's finished. The rules are different. When a K-1 fighter fights with K-1 rules, he has an advantage and the reverse is true. Mirko is the exception, but it's hard to say which is the stronger.
Q: But you defeated both Peter and Badr...
Alistair: Well that's quite an accomplishment, so many people would agree with you. Though they look similar, they are totally different sports. There is no fighter who holds the top title in both. If the other top 8 K-1 fighters fought me in MMA, I would beat them in 2 or 3 minutes.It's a different arena.
"I thought I'd be fighting Teixeira.
Q: At the lottery drawing, you didn't have much choice of opponent, but if you did?
Alistair: Anyone would have been fine, but for some reason I feel like I would have chosen Teixeira. But I think it shaped up to be a tournament everyone can be happy with. Even for those who wanted to choose their enemies.
Q: Why Teixeira?
Alistair: It's my sixth sense. I don't have a reason. It's just a feeling. I see me beating him then beating Badr and fighting Schilt in the final. Actually, I don't know how it will go, but recently my predictions have come true. I think they will this time, too.
Q: Teixeira is the Kyokushin World Champion. It IS like a mixed-martial arts match.
Alistair: I don't think of it like that, just two men fighting in a ring. It will be a tough fight. I'm sure he is hungry for the win as well. But, I will win. I've studied him and I have a plan.
Q: What about his being Kyokushin World Champion?
Alistair: I don't care. It's better to fight someone with a title of course. So I might be a little more motivated. Now I just have to beat him to a pulp.
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"It wasn't luck."
Q: How likely are you to win?
Alistair: I'm very confident. But it's three fights in one night. You never know what will happen.Alistair: I really want to win and I just have to practice and then do my best. Anyway, K-1 isn't my ultimate goal.Alistair: It's a side road. A checkpoint. I just want to have fun. If it's not, I'll just go back to MMA.
Q: Badr says he won't allow you to win and just go back to MMA. He won't let you get that far, he says.
Alistair: Before he said he'd fight me in MMA, but it never happened. I don't mind giving him a rematch in K-1, either. Some people say that when I beat him, it was luck. I'll prove them wrong. He says he'll stop me, but I'm only focused on winning. I'll play it smart and then win, that's all.
Q: I think that the K-1 fighters will try their best to stop you. Does that scare you at all?
Alistair: Not at all. Because MMA is a tough sport. There are 5, 5-minute rounds, and you have stand-up and ground techniques. You have not only punches, but you get kneed in the face repeatedly. Then K-1 is 3, 3-minute rounds. PRIDE had 10 minutes per round, right? Even with conditions like that, I am one of the top fighters. Compared to that, K-1 iseasy.