At 42 years old, Alistair Overeem has been fighting in one form or another for more than two decades. However, the former Strikeforce, DREAM and K-1 champion says those days are nearing an end.
"The fight game has literally been my life, but, you know, through the years, I learned there's more than just fighting," Overeem told MMA Underground. "There's just a lot more in life.
"I have three lovely daughters, and it's time to be with them. It's time to make the right choice, do the right thing, and that is now to pass my information, my knowledge – that's a lot of fights, a lot of health stuff, longevity stuff – and then just be with my daughters."
Overeem began his professional MMA and kickboxing runs in the Netherlands in 1999 and would eventually become a champion in both disciplines, but he admits that doing so required much sacrifice along the way. Now he's looking to put an end to those careers and focus on his role as a father.
"I've been, of course, gone for so many years, basically," Overeem said. "It's not just one camp. It's been camp after camp and basically lived in the States the last 10 years, so it's time to go back to my roots."
But Overeem isn't quite ready to hang up the gloves just yet. He's hoping to leave on a high note and walk away as GLORY Kickboxing heavyweight champion, adding another belt to his already impressive trophy case. He can take a step in that direction Saturday, when he meets fellow striking legend Badr Hari in a much-anticipated trilogy bout that headlines "GLORY: Collision 4" at GelreDome in Arnhem, Netherlands.
The event streams live on pay-per-view at GLORYFights.com (2 p.m. ET).
Overeem scored a knockout win in their first meeting in 2008, though the Moroccan superstar gained a measure of revenge in their 2009 rematch, earning a second-round TKO. Despite the history, Overeem said he doesn't see the rivalry as personal heading into their third meeting.
"Absolutely not personal," Overeem said. "I hold Badr and his accomplishments in high regard. I'm not going to call him my friend because we're not friends, but the respect is there from both ways, and he's a talent also with the things that he has shown in the fights, so it's going to be my pleasure to share the ring with him. Of course, you know, I'm going for the win. I'm in really strong shape, so we're going to have to do our things."
Hari is a kickboxing legend with more than 100 wins to his name, an astonishing 92 of which he earned by knockout. Meanwhile, Overeem hasn't competed in kickboxing since 2010, when he claimed the K-1 World Grand Prix title before turning his full-time attention to MMA, a run that ended with his departure from the UFC in 2021 after notching 20 appearances for the promotion.
"It's going to be a big fight," Overeem said. "Good fight. Big stadium. A lot of people in the Netherlands are looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to it. Again, long camp, shape is phenomenal. Can't wait to get in there and do my thing."
If victorious Saturday, Overeem then hopes to challenge reigning GLORY heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven for the title, and then he'd consider perhaps one final MMA appearance in hopes of getting better closure to a run that ended with a disappointing TKO loss to Alexander Volkov.
"My goals are Badr, I'm going to smash him, then we're going to smash Rico, and then, you know, maybe one more MMA—maybe one more," Overeem said. "But for now, the goal is Badr and then Rico, get that belt, and then maybe one more final one because of course, the MMA thing didn't finish with satisfaction, so we want to also finish that with satisfaction, and I believe I have it in me, but it will not be more than that. It will not be more than those potential two or three fights.
"So it's two or three fights, thank you very much. It's been great."
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