MMA Fighting spoke to Overeem shortly after the big news broke about his new deal with the organization, others fights that were offered to him, whether he can still fight for K-1 and what it feels like to finally sign with the UFC.
A transcript of our conversation can be found below.
Ariel Helwani: How long has this been in the works for?
Alistair Overeem: It's been in the works for, I would say, the last couple of weeks. I know that the parties had found a common ground to work on, the talks were positive and slowly they came together in the last couple of weeks, which resulted in this deal.
How are you going to get paid?
I'm going to be paid like any other fighter.
So you will be paid and then you will pay your management team, Golden Glory?
Yeah, but that was already the case before. From Strikeforce, I basically got a check so ...
Are you still able to fight for K-1?
No, I will only be fighting in the UFC.
Was Brock the only fight offered to you for your debut?
I got offered to fight for the championship belt but that would mean I had to wait, because of course dos Santos is fighting Velasquez Nov. 12, it's going to be a great fight, then probably these guys are going to need some healing time, relaxing time, so November plus six months, that will probably be May. I'm a fighter, I like to be active, so then some names came rolling out and Brock Lesnar was among them and I think it's a dream match-up. The fans wants to see it; I want to see it. I'm very excited about this fight, so I immediately said yes.
Does that mean that the winner of this fight will fight for the title?
How many fights is the contract for?
Do you want to have my credit card pin number as well, Ariel? (laughs)
I didn't want to know how much it was for, just how many fights.
That was going to be your next question. Of course, I can't get into all the contract details unfortunately for you guys.
Is it your understanding that Lesnar is 100 percent healthy now?
I expect him to be 100 percent. I mean, he's a professional athlete for some period of time now. So he'll be 100 percent, I'm not worried about that. But basically, I'm just focusing on myself. I'm going to make sure I'm 100 percent, 120 percent, because Brock is a very strong, big guy, and I don't really worry about his shape.
Is this your first time at the UFC office in Las Vegas?
It is, actually. It is.
What do you think of it?
Well, it's big. It looks very professional. I had no idea what to think, actually. Lot of staff running around, they have a great kitchen, they are drinking a lot of UFC water. It's a very pleasant environment. The energy is good, a lot of enthusiastic people, everybody is motivated.
How does it feel to finally sign with the UFC after all these years?
Honestly, it feels like one of the biggest days in my life, a sort of life-changing thing. UFC is really big, they just did the FOX deal, you have all these possible match-ups happening right now, so for me, it's a very exciting time, the team is very excited, UFC people are very excited.