Alistair Overeem was highly impressive in his destruction of Mark Hunt at UFC 2o9 on Saturday night, but what’s more impressive is what he had to contend with leading up to the fight.
Dana White revealed at the post-fight press conference that Overeem had been dealing with food poisoning just prior to the bout and that he spent a day in the hospital. “So, he’s been in the hospital for 24 hours,” White said. “Food poisoning. Throwing up and all the other pleasantries of food poisoning for 24 hours. He was in the hospital, brought him home, and we had to bring him back to the hospital. They had to fill him with bags of fluids, and IVs, and at one point he was afraid to leave his room because he couldn’t stop throwing up and everything else.”
Overeem confirmed this and said he felt drained from the ordeal, but would tough it out to make it to fight night. “So, we went through all the steps necessary,” Overeem explained. “I got really sick. Yesterday at the weigh-ins I was out. I was like low energy. I mean, I put on my acting face looking angry, but I had zero energy, and if I felt today as I did yesterday I would not have been able to perform. But, I went to the hospital, got an IV, slept very good, took something to help me sleep. I could get some food in yesterday even before sleeping and recovered kind of okay, and [thought] yeah, we’re going to go for it. We’re going to do this.”
Overeem is currently ranked 4rd in the UFC Heavyweight Division in MMATorch’s latest February Rankings and is looking to get back into title contention after suffering a KO loss to Stipe Miocic last year.
Cervantes Analysis: I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like in the days leading up to the fight. No one would have blamed Overeem for dropping the fight because he was dealing with food poisoning, but had he dropped out, it would’ve been an even bigger headache for the UFC as they had already lost their co-main event. Hell of a performance in any context, but even more so considering what he had to go through.
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It’ll be very interesting to see the blood test results from Overeem, given his record, the IV he got and the pill to “sleep better”.