Overeem memorably defeated Hunt with a vicious volley of knees at UFC 209, pushing his lifetime record over the “Super Samoan” to 2-0. Afterward, UFC president Dana White announced that Overeem was battling a nasty case of food poisoning in the lead-up to the fight, to the point where Overeem was taken to the hospital and administered an IV with the blessing of USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping partner.
That revelation didn’t sit well with Hunt, who called the whole situation a “load of sh*t” in an explosive interview recently on The MMA Hour and accused Overeem of cheating to exploit the rules. Hunt said he didn’t believe Overeem was actually sick and said of his fellow Pride FC veteran, “he didn’t get caught, they gave him help; well f*ck, you’re still a cheater to me.”
Nonetheless, Overeem isn’t letting himself get worked up over Hunt’s accusations.
“Mark is also one of those veteran fighters, I respect him a lot, but in the end, he’s just a talker,” Overeem said Monday on The MMA Hour. “In the end, I’ve fought him twice. I beat him as a light heavyweight (in 2008), I broke his arm, and I’ve knocked him out as a heavyweight. And actually, both fights, I was not fit. Because the first fight, I’m a light heavyweight fighting a guy — I was 106kg fighting him, who was 135kg. What is that, I’m 235 (pounds), he’s 280? I broke his arm, and that was on short notice. That was on a five-day notice. I got the call Monday; on, I think, Tuesday or Wednesday I was on the plane; and Saturday we fought.
“Now (at UFC 209), I had a good camp, but I had food poisoning the day before, and I knocked him out. So yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know what he wants from me. I think I’ve shown to the world that I’m the better fighter.”
Overeem previously defeated Hunt via americana submission in just 77 seconds at Dream 5 in July 2008, a fight that took place prior to each man’s Octagon run.
As for UFC 209, the use of IVs is banned both by USADA and the Nevada Athletic Commission, the sanctioning body that oversaw the event. That being said, exceptions to the rule are permitted in the case that an athlete “has an acute medical condition where an IV line was essential for treatment in a hospital admission, surgical procedure, or clinical investigation,” per USADA guidelines.
USADA granted that exception to Overeem due to the circumstances of his sickness. The veteran heavyweight said that he and his team “really did our homework” to clear everything through the proper channels before committing to an IV, and the end result, Overeem said, ultimately speaks for itself.
“Words don’t hurt,” Overeem said. “If [Hunt] wants to keep talking, keep talking. To me, he’s a guy who talks a lot anyway. He’s just talking because he has no facts, has no evidence, he doesn’t have anything to back it up. I’ve thought of him a little bit higher previously, I actually am a fan of his style. Still am. But yeah, mental-wise, I think he’s a little bit out there.”
The highlight-reel knockout of Hunt propelled Overeem into the No. 3 spot on the UFC’s official media-generated heavyweight rankings. The 37-year-old Dutchman is now readying to face Fabricio Werdum in a rubber match this weekend at UFC 213, and a second win over Werdum would put Overeem within a stone’s throw of another shot at the UFC heavyweight title. So for now, Overeem has bigger things to worry about than the complaints of past opponents.
“This is a fight sport,” Overeem said. “The only thing that matters — words don’t hurt. Come on, how old are we? The only thing that matters is who walks out of that Octagon or ring, in the case an Octagon, with their hand raised. That’s the only thing that matters. I beat him, I beat him twice, I knocked him out. Maybe it’s still bothering him? I can imagine it’s still bothering him, right? He doesn’t get knocked out often. So yeah, of course, it’s going to bother him. It’s never nice to get knocked out.”