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Overeem’s Royal Lineage Uncovered

Alistair Overeem (above) recently discovered he shares a bloodline with King William III. | Taro Irei/Sherdog.com



A champion in Strikeforce, Dream and K-1, Alistair Overeem has grown accustomed to wearing crowns. Now, he can say he has the blood of a king running through his veins.

A recently discovered fact in Overeem’s family tree connects him to King William III, who ruled the Netherlands for nearly half a century (1849-90). That royal connection, along with Overeem’s success in combat sports, led Prince Willem Alexander to invite the world-ranked heavyweight for a visit and dinner at the Dutch Royal House.

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Besides his royal visit, Overeem had a number of other social activities on his agenda in recent weeks. The 30-year-old Golden Glory product worked as a volunteer for the Netherlands Red Cross, making donations to victims of the earthquake- and tsunami-related catastrophe in Japan. In addition, he graced the cover of the Wall Street Journal, met with the Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan and had dinner with world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.

His social outreach aside, Overeem has a clear goal inside MMA -- to become UFC heavyweight champion. Undefeated in his last 10 appearances, the Pride Fighting Championships veteran last fought at K-1 “Dynamite!! Power of Courage 2010” on New Year’s Eve, when he blitzed Todd Duffee in 19 seconds at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

“With the belt of K-1, Dream and Strikeforce, Overeem continues to build his legacy,” manager Bas Boon wrote in an e-mail. “His main plan for the future is to challenge for the UFC belt.”

Colin Foster contributed to this report.
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