Alistair Overeem has tried his best to stay relevant during his nine-month exile from the UFC, and thus far, he's been relatively successful.
Overeem made headlines in June when he proclaimed his intentions to return before the end of 2012 and fight for the title. Since then, the Dutchman has expertly slipped his way into Junior dos Santos' sights, forging a rivalry with the Brazilian by goading him at every opportunity.
But now, with dos Santos tentatively booked to defend his belt against Cain Velasquez at the UFC's year-end show, Overeem is starting to change his tune.
Speaking with MMA Weekly Radio, Overeem's manager Glenn Robinson revealed that the fighter would still prefer to come back to a title shot, but if that's not a feasible option, he'd be more than willing to fight anyone the UFC slots against him, as soon as possible. No training camp required.
"He would have loved to have had the opportunity to fight for the title, but Alistair is a fighter, and as a fighter he will fight whoever they put in front of him," explained Robinson.
"He's going to be ready to fight the second that there's a fight. He's not going to need a camp, because he's never left camp. The day that he's allowed to be licensed, if they want him to fight the next day, he'll be ready."
6 MUST-READ STORIES
Overeem won't wait for UFC title shot. Glenn Robinson, manager of sidelined heavyweight Alistair Overeem, told MMA Weekly Radio that his client would "love" to return to a title shot, but would still be willing to fight whomever the UFC asked him to, if need be.
St-Pierre medically cleared. The surgically repaired right knee of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre was cleared by a physician, moving "GSP" one step closer to a UFC 154 clash against interim champ Carlos Condit in Montreal. St-Pierre has been relegated to the sidelines since tearing his ACL and meniscus last December.
The fight to save Jens Pulver. Burdened by struggles with depression and anxiety, Jens Pulver no longer cares about championship belts. He fights to learn about himself.
Silva wants St-Pierre, win or lose. In an interview with Brazil's Sport TV, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva reiterated that he wants his next fight to be against Georges St-Pierre, regardless if St-Pierre wins or loses against Carlos Condit at UFC 154.
Jackson: three days notice is unreasonable. Jon Jones' polarizing trainer, Greg Jackson, defended his decision to advise Jones to turn down a short-notice fight with Chael Sonnen, saying, "Fighting somebody on three days' notice is not reasonable to me."
The UG erupts after White asks for Fedor-Lesnar input. Popular MMA forum The Underground exploded on Monday afternoon when UFC President Dana White replied to a question about a Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko superfight with, "Is this the fight u guys want to see? Post a thread asking if people want to see this fight." Whether or not White was joking, the thread amassed over 250 replies in less than three hours.
You probably noticed that Bruce Buffer tweaked his trademark line -- "It's time!" -- to "It's fight time!" at the last UFC on FOX show. I can't be the only person wondering about the switch, so here's Buffer to give a semi-explanation.
If you've got the time to waste today, this bizarre (and fascinating) compilation of UFC trailers from UFC 100 to UFC 151 will serve you well.
Social experiment: This is a behind-the-scenes video of Carlos Condit preparing for Georges St-Pierre. Now, go ahead and try to predict what percentage of its YouTube comments revolve around either Nick Diaz or the phrase, "The Natural Born Runner." I'm just taking a wild guess here, but the actual number is probably just as high as you predicted.
Yesterday was a relatively slow day out there in Video Land, so times like these call for a reach back into the vault for another barely MMA related gem.
I'm now medically cleared to compete in professional mixed martial arts events- Rendez-vous le 17 novembre,— Georges St-Pierre(@GeorgesStPierre) August 28, 2012
@ufc 154, Montréal!!!
THE FIRST STEP
Rosi Sexton (@RosiSexton) August 28, 2012
TOO CLOSE TO CALL
Who would win in a fight— DaMarques Johnson (@DaMarques_UFC) August 28, 2012
@unclecreepymma mustache or don fryes
Announced yesterday (Tuesday, August 28, 2012):
- UFC 154: Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson (6-1) vs. Besam Yousef (6-1)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day is a bit of prognosticating from Dangalvan: UFC 152: The Outcomes UFC Would Love
Although Vitor isn't a huge draw, I suspect that the PPV will do reasonably well buy-rate due to the extend amount of time between this show and UFC 149, and the fact that a lot of people want to see Jon Jones lose. With so many eyeballs likely checking the event, there are a lot of outcomes that I'm sure the UFC would like both short-term and long-term from a business perspective.
Obviously, Dana White and Co. would never talk about which fighters they desire to win because of the obvious conflict of interest, but based on the fact that I am under the payroll of no one, I have no problem talking about it.
LHW Bout - Vinny Magalhaes vs Igor Pokrajac
At 28 years of age, Vinny Magalhaes could add some depth to a light heavyweight division that is filled with fighters that have losses against Jon Jones on the record. The best possible situation for the UFC is for Magalhaes to channel Royce Gracie and look like a phenom by submitting Igor Pokrajac early with an unorthodox hold.
Main Card (PPV)
FW Bout - Charles Oliveira vs Cub Swanson
Another no-brainer here. Charles Oliveira is the up-and-coming, exciting star while Cub Swanson is the grizzled veteran. Oliveira has looked like dynamite since moving down to the featherweight division, and if he continues to do so he could add depth to the top tier of the featherweight class.
LHW Bout - Matt Hamill vs Vladimir Matyushenko
There really isn't any long-term benefits from either fighter getting their hand raised, but Hamill winning after "retiring" would provide the best story that could garner some headlines. As long as this fight isn't terrible, I would consider it a positive.
MW Bout - Michael Bisping vs Brian Stann
Both fighters are great on the microphone and have followings, but Bisping is the much more marketable fighter of the two. No matter if you love him or hate him, you do have an opinion about Bisping, and that's all that really matters. It would also be better if Bisping won in dominant fashion as it would set him up for a potential shot against the Middleweight Champion, a fight that should do a decent PPV buy-rate.
FLW Championship Bout - Joseph Benavidez vs Demetrious Johnson
In all honesty, the fate of the flyweight division will be on the line when both of these men step in the octagon. A lackluster fight will cast a negative tone over the weight class, but a blockbuster spectacle would make the flyweights seem special. Johnson has more of a personality, so him becoming the champion would be a positive. But really at that matters about this fight, is it's quality.
LHW Championship Bout - Jon Jones vs Vitor Belfort
The best possible outcome for the UFC in this fight is if Vitor Belfort knocks out Jon Jones in the early seconds of the bout. Seriously. Not only would Belfort, a massive underdog, beating the champion create headlines around the sports globe, but it would constitute a re-match that would probably end up being one of the best buy-rates of the year. As long as Jones rebounds with a dominant victory and multiple dominant defenses, I don't think his legacy would take a hit at all. Don't think so? Take a look at George St. Pierre.
So there you have at. Those are the outcomes that I believe would be the best for the UFC from a business perspective. Based on the fact that I'd be lucky to pick all five fights on the main card correctly, I can guarantee not even a quarter of this will actually happen, but if it did, well, it would be a good day for the UFC. A good day, something that has become a rarity for the UFC as of late.
POLL OF THE DAY
As a side note, personally I really enjoyed hearing from you guys in last week's UFC 151 poll. So let's see if we can make something out of this. Every now and then, I think it'd be interesting to throw the occasional testrun out there and see which way our little community sways. Let me know what you think in the comments, but first let's have the big Dutchman kick things off:
(Polls may not be visible for mobile users.)