Overeem: Vegas state of mind
I feel like I am the last one on the boat.
Every major mixed martial arts fighter is here in Las Vegas or at least trains in Vegas some of the time. But I’m always either the first one or the last one on the boat, and now I have committed myself 100 percent to fighting for and winning the UFC heavyweight title in 2012.
And that means I have uprooted my career and my life and – at least for the foreseeable future – and am now living in a house in Vegas.
Winning the UFC heavyweight title, and defending it for years to come, is the biggest goal in my life right now. And it is not something anyone can accomplish without giving 100 percent dedication to the task, which is why when I signed with the UFC a couple of months ago, I agreed to compete solely in the UFC.
I enjoyed the challenge of fighting in K-1 kickboxing and for different MMA organizations, and am proud of what I accomplished in my career. I achieved the ultimate in K-1 – I won the K-1 Grand Prix last year – and I will always be very proud of that. But I feel I achieved what I set out to in that sport. It is time to move on and win the biggest and most important title in all of combat sports and martial arts: the UFC belt.
I’ve come to the UFC at a time of my choosing, and at the right time. This is a huge challenge for me, but I am ready and I am making wholesale changes to my life in order to achieve this goal. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices already, but things are falling into place now I am in the first full week of training ahead of my No. 1 contender fight with former UFC champ Brock Lesnar on Dec 30.
I have decided to train at Xtreme Couture for this fight. This is the first time I have not trained in Holland or Japan for years, but the vibe is perfect at Xtreme Couture. It helped that I already knew some of the guys there like Ray Sefo and Maurice Jackson, but I just feel very welcome there and they have all the facilities – two cages, a ring, lots of bags – everything I need to get ready for Lesnar. I am ready to put in the work. I have been training at 30 percent, and now am stepping it up to about 60 percent and will increase from there.
I saw Lesnar for the first time in Anaheim when we had the press conference to promote tickets sales. He was a big guy, like me, and it was interesting to see he hasn’t lost any weight at all. There were some rumors that he’d lost weight after his latest surgery and had not put his muscle mass back on; so I was happy to see him in shape and hear him say he’s stronger and healthier than years.
After the press conference, I took the time to go to the arena floor to meet some fans. The UFC fans were all great and I was very happy that they all seemed to know what I was about already and a lot said they wanted me to knock Lesnar out.
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I didn’t need to fight Lesnar. When I signed for the UFC, Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta offered me the winner of the title fight between Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. But I am a fighter. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines, I want to fight.
I think I have earned a UFC world title fight, by winning every major title outside the UFC, but I am here to prove that I am – without question – the best heavyweight on the planet. You don’t do that sitting on the sidelines or working out in the gym, you do that by fighting and beating the best available opposition in the biggest fights that can be made.
Myself vs. Lesnar is a huge fight and I jumped at the chance to fight him.
But I don’t underestimate this man. Winning UFC belt from Randy Couture in his fourth pro MMA fight and defending it against Frank Mir and Shane Carwin was very impressive. I am also impressed by Lesnar’s fighting spirit; he has twice come back from a very serious illness and fought very tough opposition right away. He obviously has a lot of confidence in himself in fighting me after more than a year out and surgery on his stomach, and I admire that about him, but I am even more confident in myself. I will knock this guy out.
He is great at takedowns and controlling people on the ground, but he I can stop his takedowns and he is no match for me on the feet.
I am going to rip Brock Lesnar apart, piece by piece.
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