Alistair Overeem has returned to kickboxing.
On Tuesday morning, the former UFC heavyweight title challenger posted a short video to Instagram of him taking off and then dropping his mixed martial arts gloves to the ground. Overeem picks up a pair of Glory Kickboxing gloves, puts them on and the hashtag #IAMBACK appears.
A few hours later, Ariel Helwani of ESPN confirmed that Overeem will indeed be returning to kickboxing and has signed a multi-fight deal with Glory Kickboxing. The promotion also confirmed the news on their social media as well as in a press release.
“We are extremely excited for Alistair Overeem to join GLORY,” said GLORY chairman Pierre Andurand in the release. “Alistair is one of the most well-rounded and decorated heavyweight fighters of all time. Today marks a historic day for the sport, and most importantly for GLORY fans, with upcoming exciting fights that everyone will want to see.”
The former K-1 World Grand Prix champion has not competed in kickboxing since 2010. His last match came against Peter Aerts at the K-1 World Grand Prix 2010 final, where he knocked out “The Dutch Lumberjack” in just 67 seconds and earned the aforementioned championship. He left the sport with an overall record of 10-4.
Overeem focused more of his attention to mixed martial arts after his departure from kickboxing and went on to fight for and become champion in a number of established promotions such as DREAM and Strikeforce. He signed with the UFC in 2011 and made his debut against Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. Overeem needed one round to finish Lesnar with a body kick and punches.
Overeem alternated between wins and losses throughout his tenure with the UFC, but he did eventually challenge for the heavyweight championship against then-champion, Stipe Miocic, at UFC 203. However, his quest to win another championship in another promotion was halted after he was knocked out by Miocic in the first round of the fight.
Alistair continued to fight after the Miocic loss and defeated the likes of Sergei Pavlovich, Alexey Oleinik and Walt Harris with losses to Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik sandwiched in between. He recently had a two-fight win streak snapped after being knocked out by Alexander Volkov at UFC Vegas 18 this past February. Overeem was subsequently released from his UFC contract.
Per the report from Helwani, there is currently no date or opponent figured out for Overeem right now, but he is expected to make his debut by the end of the year.