“What other people do is their business. But the fact is Junior did not want this fight. I had to push him a little bit to make this fight happen – a fight which, by the way, the whole world wants to see. The UFC wants it. The fans out there all want it. I’m getting messages from every corner of the globe that people want to see this fight. So I had to push Junior a little bit… It’s very simple. In interviews, I never heard my name mentioned. I heard Andrei Arlovski. I heard Stipe [Miocic]. But I did not hear Alistair Overeem. That’s weird because Alistair Overeem, this fight with JDS, is a fight that everyone wants to see, UFC included, so why would you not want to perform?.. I definitely believe that the winner of this fight has a claim to the UFC title. I’ve had a 1,000 different scenarios in my head of how it would go down, and they all differed. One thing was the same: I’m going to leave the Octagon with my hand raised.”
-Alistair Overeem talks to MMAJunkie.com about his matchup with Junior dos Santos at UFC on Fox 17 and why he thinks a title shot is on the line.
Penick’s Analysis: Dos Santos was certainly cool on the idea of the fight, and it’s taken a long time to get it together. Part of the delay was dos Santos believing he should have fought Fabricio Werdum after Werdum defeated Velasquez, only for the UFC to go with the rematch between Werdum and Velasquez. Regardless, it’s finally happening, and the winner will come out of the event in a great position in a thin division. Of course, Overeem is going to potentially be testing out the market after this, but the UFC is likely to reach agreeable terms with him if he wins, and a title fight could certainly be in line by that point.
[Alistair Overeem art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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