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Mike Winkeljohn: Alistair Overeem will have to be team player

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Frank Mir, bottom, and Alistair Overeem, of the Netherlands, fight during the third round of a UFC 169 heavyweight mixed martial arts bout in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Overeem won by unanimous decision
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Alistair Overeem [top] will have to be a team player if he wants to succeed (AP Photo/Tim Larsen)

There is no shortage of former teammates who say that UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem isn't a team player. Rashad Evans recently said as much after Overeem left his Blackzilians team for Team Greg Jackson/Mike Winkeljohn.

However, If Overeem is going to be accepted at his new team, coach Mike Winkeljohn says that the Dutch fighter is going to have to have a selfless attitude. "That's just the way our camp is," Winkeljohn said during a Submission Radio interview.

"It's first and foremost you have to help others and if you start helping other people out, if he could help other people out with his stand up and his knowledge in different positions, then the team is going to help him. If not, he will be ostracized real quick and he'll be gone."

The striking coach went on to say that his team is a close-knit one where the culture is such that everyone lends helping hands.

"The guys won't do it themselves or want me to be a jerk about it, which I'm usually a jerk, but it just happens that way. That's why we're so good at what we do I think is, the guys help each other and that's huge, because you can't do it by yourself no matter how good you think you are, you need to help others to become successful in this sport," he said.

With all that said, Winkeljohn said that he is excited to have Overeem in Albuquerque. "I haven't spoke with him yet, but as soon as he comes I'm going to be excited to be working with him," he said.

"The guy can hit hard, I mean [former Overeem opponent and Jackson/Winkeljohn team member] Travis Browne told me how hard he hit, but the thing is I want him to not be striking and then standing in a place where he can get counter punched and or taken down. He needs to strike and then make slight angle changes, I think that will change his game tremendously."

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