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In what will be his 59th (you read that correctly) professional mixed martial arts fight, Alistair Overeem looks to extend his win streak to three against perennial heavyweight contender Alexander Volkov in the main event of UFC Vegas 18.
Overeem has said recently that this is one last run to the title before calling it a career. While some fighters may put pressure on themselves after making an assertion like this, at virtual media day for UFC Vegas 18, Overeem said it’s quite the opposite in his particular case.
“Listen, I'm enjoying myself. I'm enjoying the walk out, the fight and everything that comes with it,” Overeem said. “So there is not really pressure and I think that pressure also doesn't improve your performance.”
While “The Reem” has his eyes on the prize that is the UFC heavyweight title, there’s a pretty hefty line for who’s next to fight for it.
Francis Ngannou will be challenging UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in March. Jon Jones is already all but guaranteed a title shot against the winner of that bout. Of course, you also have the winner of Derrick Lewis and Overeem’s teammate Curtis Blaydes vying for a title shot.
But Overeem is taking it one step at a time.
“Let's fight Saturday and see what happens there,” Overeem said. “Afterwards, we'll talk again.”
Overeem also believes he only needs a couple more wins before rightfully receiving a title shot.
“I believe after this one, we can start talking about it,” Overeem said. “So this one, maybe one, maybe two.”
Despite more speculation, “The Demolition Man” has been in this game for over 20 years and he fully understands nothing is certain until he secures a victory over Volkov.
“Nobody knows,” Overeem said. “Let’s just focus on Saturday and see what happens.”