Thursday, March 17, 2011

QUOTABLES: Alistair Overeem thinks UFC's purchase of Strikeforce could be the best thing that ever happened to the sport of MMA

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

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"I was shocked when I read [about Strikeforce being sold to Zuffa], but I'm very excited. It's a very big upset in the MMA world, and the fighting world in general. But yeah, my first thought was, I'm excited... It was a very big surprise to me and to everybody. The gentlemen did a very good job of keeping the big secret. I didn't see it coming. I didn't see it coming at all.

It depends. I'm a positive guy. I see things through a positive lens. It can be really, really the best thing [that] ever happened to the sport, if it's used positive, and I see that happening. If it's used negative, then it's going to be a downfall. But I don't see that happening. I see this as a good thing, a good development, so I see the sport growing.

We're going to have to wait and see how it works out. The fans are going to get to see the fights that are most appealing to them. I think this is what the sport needs to grow, because the sport has grown rapidly, but it's still not there yet. It still needs to grow bigger. I think [UFC president] Dana [White] wants this and I know I want this as well. We want the fights to be worldwide known. We want everybody worldwide to talk about these fights, like in the old days with Muhammad Ali and [Mike] Tyson, and we're not there yet. To get there, there's still some work to be done and I think Dana's working on that.

For me, I'm a fighter. I want to show the fans exciting fights. I want to go for the knockout. For me, I'm tied down in the Strikeforce Grand Prix. That is my objective for the moment. This is my time to show that I'm number one in this tournament. All the politics talk, I'm not a head of an MMA organization. I know leading a business like that has a lot of responsibilities, a lot of headache, so I can't answer that question for you [of when I might fight someone from the UFC]... I'm happy that I'm not in their shoes. I'm happy that I have the simple life of a fighter."


-Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem talks to Ariel Helwani at MMAFighting.com and reacts to Zuffa's purchase of Strikeforce and how he feels things will work out.

Penick's Analysis: For all of the remaining fighters in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, this purchase of the organization by Zuffa could be big for them and the fans. Depending on how the rest of the field and the tournament plays out, along with their contracts, many of them could make their way to the UFC. Overeem is right at the top of the list of guys that fans want to see against fighters in the UFC, and depending on how things play out over the next year or so, he could make his way there sooner rather than later. Once again, no one knows for sure how things are going to play out here, but Overeem in the UFC is one thing that fans will want to see as soon as possible after this acquisition.

Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/Affliction2/article_8756.shtml

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