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Alistair Overeem to be ‘done’ fighting in 18 months, but ‘would’ve liked to finish in UFC’

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Alistair Overeem has set a hard deadline for his retirement, but wishes he ended his career with the UFC.

If it were up to him, Alistair Overeem would retire as a UFC fighter.
If it were up to him, Alistair Overeem would retire as a UFC fighter.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Since 1999, Alistair Overeem has been competing professionally in both kickboxing and mixed martial arts. “The Demolition Man” achieved great success in both realms of prizefighting, winning titles in Strikeforce, DREAM, and K-1.

At 41 years of age, Overeem now has his sights set on hanging up his gloves for good. And as he prepares for his kickboxing return at Glory: Collision 3 against Rico Verhoeven on October 23rd, he also set a more definite timeline for his retirement.

“I’m realistic about it. My end is also coming,” Overeem told MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn. “It’s going to be my final year, then it’s over. It’s done. One year, one in a half. It needs to be wrapped up in a year and a half. 18 months – it needs to be over. We have to be realistic.”

Overeem saw a bit of a career resurgence from late 2018 to early 2020, winning four of his five bouts impressively. At the time, he was preparing himself for one final run towards UFC gold. But after those plans were derailed by a second-round TKO loss to Alexander Volkov, in February, he was released from the organization.

As a decorated veteran, Overeem knows how the game works. But if it were up to him, he would’ve bowed out as a UFC fighter.

“This is something the UFC can do after you lose,” he said. “That is the terms of their contracts, they can release you from the contract. I’ve had a good time with the UFC. They can do this. Maybe it was time for the younger generation to come in.

“You can’t forget, I am 41 years old. I am getting a little bit older. If it was up to me I would’ve liked to finish in UFC, but it was not up to me.

“Only the UFC belt is missing from my wall. We were so close. It is what it is. If there would be one thing I could’ve changed or wanted it would be that UFC belt. But on the other hand (I had) so many beautiful victories. So many exciting moments. I’m proud about (my career there).”