- Alistair Overeem and Junior Dos Santos have been officially been cut from the UFC.
- “The Reem” told fans he will continue his fighting career elsewhere.
- Nobuyuki Sakakibara claims he would be interested in seeing Alistair Overeem in Rizin soon.
Back in 1999, Alistair Overeem competed in his second mixed martial arts contest in Tokyo, Japan. Over the next decade, “The Reem” made a name for himself fighting in Japan and recorded wins over some of the sport’s best fighters. It now seems that we could see Alistair Overeem in Rizin sometime in the near future.
Rizin has grown to become one of the biggest combat sports promotions in Japan. The President of this company believes Overeem would make a good addition to the roster. Now is a great time to talk about what could lead to Alistair fighting in Japan again.
Let’s get into it!
The UFC Has Confirmed Two Major Heavyweight Roster Cuts
It isn’t easy competing at a high-level in MMA. Most of the athletes in the UFC have a very short career. Just a few losses can lead to fighters being cut from the promotion. Even legends of the game are at risk of losing their jobs.
A few months ago, UFC President Dana White revealed the promotion was being forced to cut up to 60 fighters. He warned that those on a losing streak could eventually be cut. As the months went on, more of these releases were announced.
This week, fans were shocked to hear that both Junior Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem had been cut from the UFC’s roster. These two heavyweights have been in the division’s top-10 for years. Both lost their last bouts in devastating fashion, however, and the UFC no longer feels they are worth their high paydays.
Junior’s release isn’t completely surprising. He has lost his past four fights by knockout. Most agree that the former heavyweight champion is now well past his prime and should probably hang up the gloves for good.
Alistair Overeem’s release was a little more surprising. He has won four of his past six bouts and came within seconds of defeating Jairzinho Rozenstruik before getting caught with a hail mary knockout punch. His most recent loss to Alexander Volkov was extremely one-sided, yet most felt he would be given another shot to climb up the rankings in the UFC.
Officials within the promotion felt differently. Overeem has been cut but claims he will continue fighting on.
Here’s What Could Lead to Alistair Overeem in Rizin
Japan was once the mecca of mixed martial arts. During Pride’s run throughout the early 2000s, this country was putting on some of the biggest fights of all-time. Pride eventually shut down and Japan’s status as an MMA hub seemed to disappear.
That is beginning to change again, though. Rizin launched in 2015 and has begun to gain a massive following throughout Japan and the world. Many world-class fighters are now competing in this promotion.
Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the head official within Rizin, recently spoke to the media about Alistair Overeem’s UFC release. He has years of experience working with Overeem in the past. It now appears he is interested in seeing the former K-1 champion fighting in Japan again soon.
“I do have a soft spot for Alistair and if he desires, I think it would make sense for him to retire in Japan,” Sakakibara said. “We will be kicking this year off with the RIZIN 27 event on March 21st in Nagoya, but we do plan to have around seven events this year, obviously ending it at the Saitama Super Arena on [New Year’s Eve]. Maybe that would be something that could make sense. He would obviously need to understand the current Japanese market and his value for all of this to happen though… All jokes aside, I would have no problem working with him if the numbers make sense for us, and I’m sure there will be many fans who would want to see him end his career in Japan.”
Many MMA fans would likely be excited to see Alistair Overeem in Rizin. He is one of the most dangerous strikers in MMA. Even at his age of 40, many believe that Alistair could compete with many of Rizin’s best heavyweight fighters.
It will be interesting to see where Overeem ends up. Stay tuned for updates over the next few weeks!
The Next UFC Heavyweight Title Fight is Less Than One Month Away
Every single division in the UFC is stacked right now. This weekend will feature three amazing title fights across the bantamweight, women’s featherweight, and heavyweight divisions. It’s a fun time to be a fan of the sport.
On March 27, Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou will be competing in a rematch for the heavyweight championship of the world. Miocic will look to establish himself as the heavyweight GOAT. Ngannou wants to avenge his loss to Stipe dating back to 2018.
Bovada is the best place to bet on this event! This site is well-known among MMA fans for offering incredible odds on every single UFC event. Many are surprised to see where the odds on the Miocic vs. Ngannou rematch stand.
At the moment, Stipe Miocic is listed as the +120 underdog in this title bout. He has gone 8-1 since 2014 and is likely the most accomplished heavyweight in MMA history. If he can utilize a similar strategy as the first fight, he should be able to get the victory here.
Francis Ngannou is without a doubt the scariest striker in MMA history. He is now riding a four-fight knockout streak with each fight ending before the two-minute mark. Bovada gives him odds of -150 to get the win later this month. It will be fascinating to see how the rematch plays out between these men.
Do you want to see Alistair Overeem fighting in Rizin? Who would you like to see him face off against? Let us know in the comments section below.