Ending a relationship that dates back to the beginning of his career, former Strikeforce
heavyweight champion, DREAM interim heavyweight champion and 2010 K-1 World GP champion Alistair Overeem announced
on Wednesday that he has left the Golden Glory fight team.
Overeem chose not to give specific details on the reason behind the move but cited "a breach of trust" and continued to say that there was, "no turning back and no way to continue a positive, working relationship."
In July of this year, Overeem was cut from Strikeforce due to a disagreement regarding payment methods between Golden Glory and Zuffa, but the Dutch heavyweight finally resigned with Zuffa earlier this month to make his UFC debut and to meet former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar
on Dec. 30.
The complete statements from Overeem and Golden Glory co-owner Bas Boon are after the break.
Alistair Overeem released the following statement via Twitter:"I would like to make a statement regarding the recent news of the separation from my long-time management Golden Glory. As with any relationship, there are good times and bad times - you have your common ground and your differences. As with any relationship, you have trust. When differences lead to a breach of trust, there's no turning back and no way to continue a positive, working relationship. I don't air my dirty laundry. I would appreciate the respect regarding my privacy to not disclose any further details on this matter.
Again, I would like to thank team Golden Glory for all the years we worked together and wish them success for the future."
Overeem, the favorite to win the troubled Strikeforce Heavyweight GP, withdrew from the tournament in July due to injury and was cut from the promotion later in the month due to a dispute between Golden Glory and Zuffa. Former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen
, Alistair's brother Valentijn Overeem and former UFC heavyweight John Olav Einemo were also cut from Zuffa promotions as a result of the rift between Zuffa and Golden Glory.
With Overeem only stating that "a breach of trust" was the reason for his departure, details behind the split are up for speculation and many people may be quick to point the finger at the recent issues between Golden Glory and Zuffa. Bas Boon, co-owner of Golden Glory and Overeem's former manager, released the following statement to make it clear that this is not the case."The UFC is not wrong!
I want to make the following statement to clear up any speculation.
The UFC did nothing wrong and neither did Golden Glory management when signing up Alistair Overeem with the UFC. It is public knowledge how the UFC does business. The fighters sign their own contracts and agreements. If journalists have any questions regarding Alistair Overeem's statement about G.G please contact the UFC for any further questions. ALL correspondence between the UFC and Golden Glory was also shared/CC'd to Alistair Overeem, who finally made a decision to sign the agreements.
These are difficult times in the fighting industry. We are still waiting for payment of FEG, as Alistair said in the press, and the future of FEG is still unclear. There is a Dutch law called bibop in the Netherlands which makes promoting events there extremely difficult. There will be a lot of rumors like in the recent past when 4 G.G fighters were released from the UFC and Strikeforce and that was the so called end of G.G relationship with the UFC.
Not long after this rumor, Golden Glory made a mega-deal with Alistair Overeem signing with the UFC. John Olaf Einemo is now back with the UFC and Siyar Bahadurzada just got offered a UFC contract.
There is also some really good news coming soon about the situation in Japan and I really want to let everybody know the details - but I have signed multiple NDAs (non-disclosure argreements) and I have to wait before publicly elaborating further."
While we can only guess until either side gives a definitive answer, due to Boon's hints it seems that the reason behind the split is the money owed by K-1.
Alistair Overeem, Peter Aerts, Jerome Le Banner, Ray Sefo
and a host of other fighters are owed an enormous sum of money by the struggling kickboxing promotion and like most involved, Golden Glory have reportedly been unable to make any progress towards receiving payment.
It has long been rumored that Golden Glory was getting set to take over the K-1, possibly as partial payment for debts, but with the transfer of K-1 rights to real estate
company Barbizon that talk has gone cold. Still, given that Boon is talking non-disclosure agreements in Japan, there may be something in the works.
Alistair Overeem may not be the only athlete to leave the vaunted Golden Glory team as Liverkick.com also reports
that Gokhan Saki may also be splitting. The Turkish-Dutch K-1 star, who has recently talked of making a move into MMA, is apparently unhappy the the Golden Glory team and has been seeking an out for his contract for some time.
It is also possible that Errol Zimmerman, a close friend of Saki, is leaving Golden Glory as 2011 K-1 Final 16 entrant Hedsey Gerges revealed that he is set to face Zimmerman in Nanjing. Due to a large amount of money owed, K-1 and Golden Glory do not currently have a working relationship so if the match is indeed set, Zimmerman may have left the team. Neither Golden Glory nor K-1 promoter FEG have confirmed the match.