Alistair Overeem has been making relatively big waves in our fair sport over the last couple years, and not in the most favorable fashion, leaving many to wonder if he is the UFC's biggest bust. He's been beaten by TKO/KO three times, been busted for PEDs, swapped camps a few times (under questionable circumstances), and has most recently been accused of bullying during training sessions.
Recently, one of Alistair's former training partners, UFC Light-heavyweight contender, Anthony Johnson, had some choice words about "Overshit" as he called him, and stated that he had witnessed the bullying firsthand. In a recent interview with Bloody Elbow, "Rumble" gave some insight of what it was like having Overeem as a teammate, and detailed an incident that left the two at permanent odds with one another. Here's what he had to say:
When Alistair was here, he would have his own camp, basically. To me, the bottom line is this, he wasn't a part of the Blackzilians. We do this stuff as a team, as a family. We push each other, and we don't bring 10 extra guys in that weren't helping any of us elevate our skill level.
He came in a couple of times and trained with us, but not enough to really make a mark in my memory. I'd say maybe 5 times in total. I don't know, I'm just throwing up a number, but it wasn't that many times. I sparred with him a couple of times, but overall, it wasn't a team thing. It was the Blackzilians and then there was Alistair and his crew. He would always come up in conversation when people talked about our team, but to me, he wasn't doing shit.
He never hurt me personally, but I did hurt myself training with him. I hurt my hand. I had just come back to training after I fought Arlovski. I had broken my hand during that fight and it was my first week back off that injury. Alistair came in on Meat Night, and I had already heard about him so I told my coaches, ‘I don't want to train with him.' I had seen how he treated people and I didn't like him.
He would belittle people, and wasn't respectful at all. A lot of other people noticed it, too. It was like we were all in his world. Anyway, we sparred, and it was right when he had come back from Thailand in preparation for the Travis Browne fight. It was the last round of our sparring practice, and he had been after me to spar with him, so I was like, ‘Fuck it, let's go.' That's what I said in my head.
First punch, I was trying to kill him [laughs], because I had heard that if you don't set the tone with him, he won't respect you. Right off the bat, I hit him with some good combos. That's how I hurt my hand. He got off some shots, but never hit me flush with anything. If he did, I would say that he did, but he didn't. I'm not trying to brag, but he just didn't. He's hit me with some good leg kicks before, but he's never hit me with anything from his hands that mattered.
There was another reason I didn't want to work with him that day. My trainer, Henri Hooft was training with us. Now Henri has a bad stomach; he's had a lot of stomach issues, had surgery and whatnot. He had been working with Alistair, and everyone in that gym knows Henri has a bad stomach, so we know not to go hard, especially in his midsection.
Right off the bat, Alistair got him in a clinch and threw a hard knee, BAM! right in his stomach. I'm like, ‘Okay, strike 20.' Then, I seen him in there, and Henri got out of position. Alistair moved where he was on Henri's left side, but behind him, and he threw a punch. That punch was straight at the back of Henri's head. That was the moment I knew that I fucking hated this guy. I don't have respect for anybody like that.
My partner, Guto Inocente was sparring with him. Guto is really smooth and technical. You wouldn't know it by his last fight [laughs], but he is. I wasn't there, but the guys in the gym said that Guto was piecing Alistair up. They said Alistair got frustrated and grabbed him by the knee and took him down hard. When he did that, he blew out Guto's knee. He had to have surgery and everything after that. This was during stand-up practice. Why would you take him down when it's just a striking session?
Stuff like that is hard to respect. He might have changed by going to Greg Jackson's. His losses may have humbled him, because that's what happened to me. You lose a couple times, you get humble, quick. Maybe he's changed, but as soon as I heard that he hurt Jon Jones and where he kneed Andrei Arlovski, I was like, ‘Damn that shit sounds familiar.'
With the bad vibes and words exchanged between the two, it only seems natural to broach a fight at either a catchweight or at heavy, and according to Anthony, this is a proposition he'd gladly be open to, should it ever arise.
Yeah, I would definitely take that fight because for me, it wouldn't be about business. This would be personal for me because of the things that I've seen. I have nothing against him as a fighter. He trains hard, and I'm not stupid enough to think that he sucks. He's still dangerous. It's just that as a training partner, I've seen the things he's done, and I have zero respect for that.
You can follow Anthony via his Twitter account, @Anthony_Rumble