clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

‘Energized’ Alistair Overeem ‘very ready’ for Francis Ngannou rematch after UFC Beijing

Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou
Francis Ngannou defeated Alistair Overeem by first-round knockout in 2017.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou scored quick TKO finishes Saturday morning at UFC Beijing, and “The Reem” is not opposed to the idea of getting a rematch with “The Predator” next.

Overeem stopped previously unbeaten heavyweight newcomer Sergey Pavlovich with 39 seconds left in the opening round of their co-main event bout in China, while Ngannou was even faster in his rematch with Curtis Blaydes, getting the stoppage in just 44 seconds.

Asked by a reporter at the post-fight press conference about a potential rematch with Ngannou, who finished him in brutal fashion last December, Overeem says it would end differently.

”Tonight was a short night,” Overeem said. “I have a lot of respect for Francis Ngannou, but, yes, I’m very ready for a second fight with him.”

”I can promise you the second fight will be different from the first fight,” he added. “I made changes to my camp, I feel very energized, very motivated. The second fight will be different from the first fight, I guarantee that.”

Overeem, who trained with Blaydes ahead of UFC Beijing, says that changing the “spice” in switching camps increased his “appetite”.

”We changed the gym and, I don’t know, it was a really good chemistry with all the coaches and I just started to work and we put in a lot of hours,” Overeem said. “I like the chemistry and I like all the things that they were working on. I felt growth, and I think this is crucial for mixed martial artist, always get better.

”I think in my old, former setting, that was lacking a little bit, so I feel very fortunate that I was able to still make the jump to make the change and learn again and become better.”

Fighting in Asia for the first time since his 19-second win over Todd Duffee in December of 2010, Overeem (44-17, 1 no-contest) snapped a two-fight losing skid to improve to 9-6 under the UFC banner.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting