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Overeem: Fedor isn't the greatest HW of all time, took 'easy route'

Alistair Overeem believes Fedor Emelianenko's comeback and lack of UFC fights means he's not the greatest heavyweight of all time.

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Alistair Overeem has been going through a major career resurgence, to the point where he might be in the conversation for the greatest MMA heavyweight of all time. If he defeats Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 203 next month, he's definitely a contender. He did have some things to say about other people currently considered for the crown though, when he was a guest on Bloody Elbow OG Luke Thomas' show on Sirius XM.

Namely, he doesn't believe that Fabricio Werdum, and particularly consensus GOAT Fedor Emelianenko, should qualify. Here's how he broke it down (transcribed by MMA Mania):

"I will tell you this, though, I don't think Werdum deserves that title. I just don't think he has what it takes. And I don't think Fedor deserves that title, either, because Fedor never signed with UFC.

He kind of always took the easy route, which he is doing now. Don't get me wrong, I know Fedor personally and I like him as a person -- he is very humble and very nice and he had an excellent run in RINGS in Japan, I fought there in '99. He had an excellent run there and an excellent run in PRIDE. But after PRIDE, he never really tested himself. There was the Affliction thing, but if he really wanted to go down as the best Heavyweight ever, then he should have signed with UFC and taken the hard route. UFC is where there is the hardest division, that's just how it is. Every fighter is hard, there is no easy fights, no easy opponents."

He also talked about Fedor's fight with former UFC light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado - a bout that Overeem believes Fedor lost:

"With Fedor's last fight, the last Fedor win, changed it to a draw, but he actually lost that fight. First round was 10-7, then a 10-9, then a 9-9 in my opinion and they could've easily stopped that fight. Maldonado did a great job in that fight and got robbed. You know, or he should've just quit after his success or come to UFC. But, he is not doing that. I think your last fight when you are going to finish your career is very important. If you are going to keep going, you're either going to lose or not perform and give away your grand title as greatest heavyweight of all time. And I think he did have that, 10 years undefeated. But, then came the losses in Strikeforce, retirement, came out of retirement, so now I don't think he qualifies for that title."

It's sort of interesting, because Overeem himself was seen as taking the easy route for a long time when he fought in Japan and Strikeforce's early days. To his credit though, he did take the money and come into the UFC, where he was seen as a bust for a while before making his remarkable turnaround. We'll see how much more of a conversation piece this is after UFC 203.

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