Alistair Overeem has joined the Jackson-Winkeljohn camp in New Mexico, and looks like he won’t be missed at Blackzilians.
Gilbert "Durinho" Burns, one of the young prospects at the Blackzilians team who joined the camp with his longtime friend Vitor Belfort, claims that Overeem left the team after he injured fellow UFC heavyweight Guto Inocente during a sparring session.
"There’s a story that fighters kept in the gym," Burns said on Sexto Round podcast. "Guto was recovering from a knee injury, returning to training, and, even with a broken hand, he was beating Overeem up in a striking sparring.
"Overeem got mad because he was getting beat up by a guy with one hand, so he took Guto down and blew out his other knee. That’s why Guto hasn’t fought in a while. We were all upset about it, and that was when (Overeem) left the team. After he left, the team got better and we had better results. Thank God he left the team."
Inocente confirmed the incident to MMAFighting.com:
"It was a kickboxing sparring," Inocente said. "I was kicking his a-- and he took me down. Unexpected.'
"He’s an arrogant man," Burns said. "He’s exactly how he looks to be. One thing is getting in the gym and talking to me or a younger guy, but another thing is go there and not talk to Rashad, Vitor, Tyrone Spong, coach Henri (Rooft).
"He’s cocky, and the team got better when he left. He’s really tough, but he’s not that monster that he appears to be. I saw him get beat up bad in training by Anthony Johnson, Rashad, Vitor and Tyrone."
Training with top fighters in Florida, Burns has amassed a perfect 6-0 MMA record with six finishes. The jiu-jitsu world champion hopes to eventually join his teammates in the UFC, but he wants to be ready for it.
While he waits for a call from the UFC, "Durinho" will decide if he will move up to welterweight or continue at 155 and make his Legacy FC debut on July 18.
"I’m not in a hurry to be in the UFC, I’m not focused on that right now," he said. "I’m focused on learning and evolving. I want to enter the UFC like Glover (Teixeira) did. I want to get there and beat everybody up so people will say ‘Durinho' got here to fight for the title.’
"I also don’t want to get there because of Vitor (Belfort). I want to earn it, I want to deserve it. I want to knock people out, submit them, and one day I will be in the UFC. It’s the natural way."
Update: Overeem provided this response to MMAFighting.com.
"Seems to me, without throwing any jabs, that leaving Boca was an excellent choice," he said. "I wish all my former teammates the best."