Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Bacardi
Alistair Overeem has parted ways with Golden Glory. The UFC fighter and former Strikeforce Heavyweight champion has been one of the biggest names in the Golden Glory stable of fighters for several years now, with Golden Glory both serving as trainers and managers to Overeem. Now, on the verge of the biggest fight of his MMA career against Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, he has left.
Overeem announced the decision today over twitter:
I would like to make a statement regarding the recent news of the separation from my long-time management Golden Glory. As with any relationship, there are good times and bad times - you have your common ground and your differences. As with any relationship, you have trust. When differences lead to a breach of trust, there's no turning back and no way to continue a positive, working relationship. I don't air my dirty laundry. I would appreciate the respect regarding my privacy to not disclose any further details on this matter.
Again, I would like to thank team Golden Glory for all the years we worked together and wish them success for the future.
No further details are available at this time, although the reference to "a breach of trust" will surely leave fans craving answers. Moving forward, it sounds like any details will have to come from Golden Glory, as the normally very open Overeem makes it clear that he won't discuss this further for now.
While fighters change camps often, this is a surprising move given both Overeem's history and the timing. Alistair has been with Golden Glory for many years, and their relationship has helped him move from a middle of the pack Light Heavyweight in Pride, to one of the most talked about non-UFC fighters in the world. He's always been very loyal to the camp as well, which is home to his friends and brother Valentijn. For him to make this move in the lead up to his UFC debut against Brock Lesnar in December is a shock.
Overeem factored heavily in Golden Glory's highly public falling out with the UFC and Strikeforce over the summer - an incident that led to the release of four Golden Glory fighters. So far, only Alistair has been brought back from those four. It will be interesting to see if any other Golden Glory fighters come back into the Zuffa fold in light of this news.