(Alistair Overeem [L] after training in Thailand for UFC 169 | Photo via Samurai Life)
Fans of UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem got a bit nervous after he lost two straight fights via KO. Those consecutive losses, along with his history of drug test issues, likely mean "The Demolition Man" could lose his job should he lose his next fight against Frank Mir on Saturday at UFC 169.
Overeem's fans may have gotten downright terrified when recent photos (one such, above) of the Dutch kick boxer surfaced that showed him significantly smaller in size than he has been in recent years while fighting in the UFC and K-1. Back when Overeem fought around 205 pounds, he was a well-muscled but lean guy.
The Alistair of the past five years or so, however, has been almost cartoonish in size. It seemed to help him bully fighters in kickboxing matches but was of little apparent use as an MMA heavyweight, where he's lost to most top fighters he's faced.
Overeem has seemed to realize as much and says his recent weight loss was intentional and the natural by-product of putting more of a focus on his conditioning while he prepared for Mir in Thailand.
“I actually dropped some weight,” Overeem told MMAjunkie in a recent interview.
“I wanted improved cardio, so obviously you want to lose some weight. That actually goes automatic. A lot more cardio and you automatically lose a lot of weight. We just wanted [my cardio] to be better.”
Overeem said he has sought to re-invent himself heading into the Mir fight and is confident that the excellent camp he's had will pay off.
“You should always reinvent yourself, but when you lose you just do it a little bit more," he said.
"I did just that for this fight. The focus has been very well the last couple of months. Sparring partners are good, my coaches have performed excellent and I think I’m really peaking right now.”
How do you think the smaller, better conditioned Overeem will fare Saturday against Frank Mir? Let us know in the comments section.