This weekend at UFC Vegas 18, Alistair Overeem (47-18, 1 NC) will continue down his final run inside the octagon. The Demolition Man turns 41 in May and he knows that his time as a UFC heavyweight is coming to an end.
Overeem headlines this weekend’s upcoming card against Alexander Volkov (32-8). Both men currently rank inside the UFC’s top six at heavyweight and a win for either man puts them one step closer to a title shot.
Overeem had his first professional MMA fight back in 1999. His career has taken him all over the world and he’s competed in virtually every major MMA organization there’s ever been. He’s also won many world titles all across the globe.
Overeem was the heavyweight champion in Dream and Strikeforce. In addition to that, Overeem was the K-1 World Grand Prix Champion in kickboxing. One of only two fighters ever to have the distinction of a kickboxing and MMA world title simultaneously.
The one thing that has eluded Overeem is the UFC heavyweight title. Overeem came over to the UFC in 2011 as the Strikeforce heavyweight champion. He debuted by finishing Brock Lesnar in the first round. However, he later failed a drug test before his first UFC title shot and was suspended.
Upon his return, Overeem lost two straight. Overeem was able to climb the ladder and earned himself a title shot at UFC 203 against Stipe Miocic. The Demolition Man was finished in the first round after some early success.
One final UFC title run
Throughout his UFC career, Overeem has come close to the title. However, up to this point, he’s never been able to capture the title. This is the only thing missing from Overeem’s career and he’s made it clear that if he accomplishes his goal, he’s done.
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Overeem said, “I would retire immediately (after winning the UFC title). There’s nothing to prove at that point.” He’s also alluded to the fact that if his championship window closes, he will walk away from the sport.
With that in mind, every time Alistair Overeem walks into the octagon from here on out, it could be for the final time. If Overeem wins at UFC Vegas 18, he’s likely only one more win away from a title shot.
However, if Overeem falters and Volkov wins, we might see the last of The Demolition Man. Overeem has had an incredible career, however, it would feel somewhat incomplete if he’s never able to get UFC gold. He’s got a steep mountain in front of him and it’ll be fascinating to see if he can reach the summit.