Alistair Overeem has bagged multiple world titles in other promotions, save for the UFC. He did get to fight for UFC gold at UFC 203 a year ago, but only ended up losing to Stipe Miocic via first round knockout.
Overeem did work his way back up the ladder with two consecutive wins against Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum, respectively. In his appearance on Monday’s MMA Hour episode, the ex-Strikeforce heavyweight champion said he was informed by the UFC that he would once again fight for the belt if he won over Francis Ngannou at UFC 218. But for him, it was common sense.
“I didn’t need to be (informed) — logical thinking,” Overeem told Ariel Helwani (via MMA Fighting). “I’m ranked No. 1 now, so the way [I see it], I would be eligible to fight for the belt now, but I also stated that in previous interviews if I need to run through somebody else before, then we’re gonna do that. That is what it is right now.”
“Again, I’m a fighter, I like to be active. To me, that is the best. Some fighters, they are not fighting for a year or a year and a half. I just need to get back in there every four or five months.”
Ngannou has been on a tear, so far, winning all of his five UFC fights via stoppage. This is why Overeem feels compelled to put on a decisive performance, and eventually get another crack at Miocic.
“This is like a legit guy,” Overeem said of Ngannou. “You can see he’s strong as an ox. He’s motivated. He’s willing to fight. I will be kind of his first big name test. I’m very motivated as well. And it’s gonna be a great fight — great matchup.”
“It’s gonna be my job, my team’s job to stop him and to show who is No. 1 — literally who’s No. 1, because I’m ranked No. 1. And then solidify my shot for the title against Stipe.”
UFC 218 is scheduled for December 2nd at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.