Free agent heavyweight Alistair Overeem has re-signed with the UFC. The news was first reported by Dutch site EpicMMA.nl, with Overeem himself confirming the signing on Twitter.
— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) February 15, 2016
Overeem fought out his contract in December when he took out former Champ Junior dos Santos, and that third straight win gave him a strong opening position for negotiations. With the UFC keeping him on, he’s hoping to fight on the UFC’s debut event in the Netherlands on May 8.
The 35-year-old Overeem is in his 17th year as a professional MMA fighter, and his win over dos Santos was the 40th in that time. Though he had a rocky start to his UFC run following a successful debut, he’s gone 4-1 in his last five.
Penick’s Analysis: It’s a sensible re-signing for the UFC, and keeps Overeem around in the mix at heavyweight. Given the timing of the May 8 event in Rotterdam, he’s likely to wind up fighting a potentially lesser opponent just by default, as Fabricio Werdum, Stipe Miocic, and Ben Rothwell are all tied up. With Cain Velasquez likely unable to fight until June, that takes him out of that mix, the most likely options for May 8 are a rematch with Travis Browne or a fight against Andrei Arlovski. Given he lost once to Browne, he could want to get that fight back, but viable options are certainly limited. Still, if the UFC can get him to headline close to home, that would be the best scenario for them in his return.
[Alistair Overeem art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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