“It would be a little stupid to think that fight would not happen eventually. We were kinda training separate anyways, since we kinda felt it coming… At least I did… We didn’t really train together. You can maybe count it in one hand, maybe two all together. We don’t socialize. We’re not friends. We don’t train together. We see each other, say hello, there’s respect of course. He’s a teammate, but there’s not much of a relationship. I’ve fought teammates in the past. I fought Tyrone Spong. I fought Saki in K-1. Saki, I was pretty close to at the time. I’ve fought friends before. I don’t have a problem fighting Andrei, who is not my friend. He’s my teammate.”
-In London for UFC Fight Night 83, heavyweight Alistair Overeem explains why he’s got no problem facing Jackson-Winkeljohn teammate Andrei Arlovski this May at UFC Fight Night Rotterdam (via BloodyElbow.com).
Penick’s Analysis: It’s a big gym with a big team, so if they’ve intentionally avoided one another from a training standpoint then it’s even more sensible that the fight was put together. Teammates or not, it was one of the only viable heavyweight matchups to make for Overeem after he re-signed with the organization, and it’s a chance for him to keep himself on the short list for a title fight in the division.
[Alistair Overeem art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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