Despite a lengthy career spanning multiple organizations and combat disciplines, Alistair Overeem still has a strong passion for fighting. That spirit was something that was ingrained in him long before he was collecting a paycheck for throwing punches and kicks.
“I think I’ve always been a fighter,” Overeem said in a recent interview with UFC.com. “I’ve always kicked ass – even before I was professionally a fighter. I’d have fights in the street and it even got me in trouble a couple of times.
“Some people will never be fighters, and then some people are born fighters. Not really by choice I guess.”
The 39-year-old Dutchman has captured championships in Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 during his professional tenure, but the UFC title has thus far eluded him. He challenged for the belt at UFC 203, falling to Stipe Miocic via first-round knockout on Sept. 10, 2016. Since then Overeem has gone 4-2 in the Octagon, and he could move one step closer to another title shot with a win over Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the UFC on ESPN 7 headliner on Dec. 7.
While a chance at championship gold is still always one of Overeem’s goals, he also appreciates the day-to-day grind of the sport.
“What motivates me is I love to train. I love to improve. I have my own goals, of course — UFC gold,” Overeem said. “To win the title would be a great close on my career. But besides that just to improve every day.”
A UFC belt would be a capstone achievement for “The Reem,” but it doesn’t appear that he is contemplate retirement anytime soon.
“I think us fighters go for amazing stories,” Overeem said. “My career in particular has been a long adventure. I think I was built for it. I’ve been all over the world. I’ve fought in 89 fights, kickboxing and MMA. I’m just doing my thing. I’m following my passion. It’s been a great adventure and I’m still going strong.”