“I actually embrace the idea,” Browne told MMAjunkie. “When you have top athletes that are in the same weight class, sometimes they can butt heads, but the way I look at it is iron sharpening iron. If the stars ever align again and him and I meet in the cage, then it will be an even better fight than it was last time.”
Browne and Overeem collided this past August in one of the most dramatic one-round fights in UFC history (watch it below). Overeem nearly stopped Browne with a vicious assault of knees to the body early on before Browne stormed back to stop the Dutchman with a front kick to the jaw.
Even though it’s been less than a year since that UFC Fight Night 26 bout, Browne said there are no hard feelings with Overeem – at least on his end.
“If you personally don’t get along with somebody, that doesn’t mean they can’t help you professionally,” Browne said. “I’ve personally never had any issues with Overeem, and professionally, I’ve never had any issues with him. For me, what would concern me is if we had a professional beef. But there hasn’t been any of the sort, so we’ll just be here to push each other to be the best in the world.”
Browne’s thinks the addition of Overeem to the Team Jackson-Winkeljohn family is beneficial for everyone involved. Quality heavyweights are hard to come by in MMA, and with the recent departure of Shawn Jordan from the camp, Browne’s training partners have been scarce.
Now that Overeem is in the mix, Browne said he is excited not only to have someone else to push him in training, but also someone he can push back and have by his side through the daily grind.
“Just having somebody there to push you when you need it is great,” Browne said. “It’s not going to be about just me benefitting from this. He’s going to learn a lot too being out here at Jackson’s.
“I always say that during our camps here at Jackson’s, if you don’t sit down with yourself a couple times per camp and question if you really want to do this sport, then you’re not pushing yourself hard enough. Here at Jackson’s, I’ve had multiple days where I’ve questioned myself and if I want to do this. We just push each other so hard to be the best, and he’ll see what that feels like – and in a good way, not in a bad way. I don’t intend to threaten anybody. It’s the hard work here that’s get you through.”
While Overeem won’t help Browne (15-1-1 MMA, 6-1-1 UFC) prepare for his UFC on FOX 11 showdown with Fabricio Werdum (17-5-1 MMA, 5-2 UFC) later this month, he’s expected to the join the team after recovering from a recent elbow surgery.
If all goes according to plan, Browne will get past Werdum and earn a shot at reigning heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez later this year.
Having a top heavyweight like Overeem by his side as he pursues a world title could be beneficial for someone in Browne’s position. And as long as there are no unforeseen conflicts, Browne said he sees zero downside to this situation.
“I don’t have a problem with inviting other heavyweights in,” Browne said. “If they train hard in the gym and they work their way up to fight me or I work my way up to fight them, then it is what it is. This is our job; this is what we do. We train every day for free by punching each other in the face and killing each other in the gym, so why not earn a decent paycheck doing it?”