With the news that Alistair Overeem would not only be leaving Golden Glory, but suing them, shortly after signing with the UFC there has been much speculation about what exactly happened. One thing few have done during this all is talk to people who know all involved parties to get their take. That's exactly what Paul Lazenby did during a very interesting interview with Bas Rutten.
From his interview:
Paul Lazenby: Strikeforce, K-1 and Dream champion (and your fellow countryman) Alistair Overeem will be battling Lesnar on December 30th with a UFC world title shot at stake. There has been a lot going on with Overeem lately, including the shocking news that Alistair was leaving the Golden Glory team and firing his managers. Have you discussed any of this with him, maybe found out his reasons for doing it?
Bas Rutten: Oh no, you didn't go there! (laughs) I thought that if nobody asks, I won't say anything, but now that you ask me I have to! It's been bothering me a lot! OK, here I go.
It's a money thing. He simply doesn't want to pay the people who made him. When he lost three fights in a row...well, like pretty much 5, I mean, he lost, won, lost three times in a row, won, and lost again...and nobody wanted to have him.
But his management kept pushing and using the power that they have because they have other great fighters. Like, for example [they would say]: "If you want Semmy Schilt to fight, then you have to take Alistair as well."
I had a bad feeling already when he called himself, after he won the K-1 Grand Prix, a "legend". He actually said in an interview right after he won: "I am a legend now". I don't think a fighter can ever make that comment about himself.
And talking about the Grand Prix, let's face it, he had a great deal of luck as well there. He fought Peter Aerts who had a WAR with Semmy Schilt [previously that night] and was completely banged up, and then he fought [Gokhan] Saki, who had a broken arm AND hand, in the finals! At that moment when you win, you should say: "I'm very happy with the result, the stars were in line for me tonight, I also got a little bit of luck". Because everybody is going to say that about you anyway, you might as well simply say it yourself to keep the people respecting you, but NOT: "I'm a legend".
In Bas' mind Golden Glory made Overeem what he is today (at one point Bas says that Overeem didn't know how to punch or kick when they came to GG) and for him to turn his back on them is the ultimate act of backstabbing.
Bas continued later in the interview:
When he told Martijn he didn't want to pay the 10% trainer's fee--and remember, Cor and Martijn SPLIT the 10%, so it's not 20% in total--Martijn told him that he was there with him for TWELVE YEARS, and that they trained him for so long and went through the ups and downs, especially the downs. And on top of that, he said that he was Alistair's friend this whole time, and made a big contribution to Alistair's success.
But Alistair said: "Yeah, if we have to talk about people who contributed to my success, then I also have to mention my cleaning lady who cleans my house for eleven and a half Euros an hour."
just the fact that he uses the words "trainer" and "cleaning lady" in the same sentence is so disrespectful. And his new offer to Martijn was LESS THAN ONE PERCENT
Bas' ultimate point here seems to be that Golden Glory stuck by Alistair, getting him fights and not abandoning him at his career low points. Now, with Overeem near the pinnacle of the sport, they have a chance to get some major returns on their time, investment and loyalty and instead got fired and sued by the fighter they brought along.
This is likely to be a bitter, ugly and drawn out situation involving a lot of accusations from both sides.
There is much, much more in the full interview, so make sure you give it a read.