The Alistair Overeem story took another twist today when both the fighter and UFC president Dana White claimed that they wanted to see him fight for the sports leading promotion if a deal can be struck.
Overeem was fired from the Zuffa owned Strikeforce outfit recently over a dispute regarding the timing of his next fight, while problems in coming to terms on a new deal for the fighter who was at the time the promotion’s heavyweight champion also had their part to play.
With Zuffa then terminating the contract of several of Alistair Overeem’s ‘Golden Glory’ team-mates this week over a disagreement regarding the way in which fighters are paid after competing it appeared that the fighter’s chances of mending bridges with the promotion were increasingly slim.
Despite all that’s occured though it seems that Overeem would still entertain the possibility of fighting for the UFC, telling the ‘Inside MMA’ show on HDNet last night that it was still his “ultimate goal” to fight there.
“Listen. There’s two people ranked currently above me, and they’re both in the UFC. Of course I wanna go to the UFC. I mean, I wanna fight the top competition. These guys are there. It’s not up to me. It’s up to…’Does the UFC want me?’ I’m willing to go wherever the top guys are.”
So it appears he’s still leaving the door open for a deal to be made, though it should be noted that he’d just after stated that part of the reason a new Strikeforce deal had fallen through was down to their refusal to fight outside of the promotion for the likes of DREAM and K-1, two organizations where he’s currently the champion.
The problem is that the deal would be no different if he went to the UFC as they are well known to have the same policy in force. Whether Overeem would be willing to accept that downside in order to fight in the leading organization remains to be seen.
The question though is whether the UFC would still even want to deal with Overeem after everything that’s happened over the past few weeks.
The good news for the Dutch fighter is that in a seperate interview with Mauro Ranallo last night Dana White stated that he would still like to see ‘The Reem’ fighting for the UFC.
“Yes, I would love to have Alistair Overeem in the heavyweight division. If we can come to a deal and we can make this happen and we can pay Alistair Overeem his check when he fights and he can pay Golden Glory, then absolutely we can do a deal,” he said on ‘The MMA Show.’
That would appear to put the ball firmly back in Golden Glory’s court, and it’ll be interesting to see whether they will back down and allow the promotion to pay their fighters directly rather than go through them first. If they do so then it could also give the greenlight for other fighters in the camp such as Marloes Coenen and Jon Olav Einemo to get back to fighting under the Zuffa banner as well.
So, overall it’s nice to see some light at the end of the tunnel here, though this remains an ugly situation and I’m not yet convinced we’re going to see a swift resolution here.
Check out both White and Overeem’s full thoughts on the situation in the videos below.