Although still testing the waters, Alistair Overeem feels ‘positive’ about Jackson’s MMA

Alistair Overeem may have only been at Jackson's MMA for two days, but he is already feeling the "positive" vibes that characterize the gym.…

By: Karim Zidan | 9 years ago
Although still testing the waters, Alistair Overeem feels ‘positive’ about Jackson’s MMA
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Alistair Overeem may have only been at Jackson’s MMA for two days, but he is already feeling the “positive” vibes that characterize the gym.

The former Strikeforce Heavyweight champion and K-1 Grand Prix champion recently made the decision to leave the Blackzilians camp in Miami, where he had been a notable member since his arrival in the United States three years ago. Overeem revealed that Jackson’s MMA was always one of the gyms on his list but never perused it because he signed with the Blackzilians.

“We had some mutual friends who spoke very highly of him,” Overeem told’s E. Casey Leydon. “He is a very strategic coach, a very intelligent coach. His track record speaks for itself; he has built several champions. So for me, I was moving to the (United) States in 2011, when I was figuring out what I wanted to do.  He was on the list of the gyms that I wanted to visit. However, before I got a chance to visit, I signed with the Blackzilians in Miami.”

Overeem is 2-2 since joining the UFC roster and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Frank Mir in his last octagon outing at UFC 169. He admits that he was interested in joining the Jackson’s gym sooner, but his last two fights were against opponents from that gym, which made the transition impossible at the time.

“To be honest, I was going to come here sooner, after the ‘Bigfoot’ (Silva) fight, but I was fighting Travis (Browne) and he is from this gym. And after Travis I fought Frank Mir, who was also from this gym, so those two fights actually hampered me from coming sooner.”

Most recently, the Dutch heavyweight had requested a spot on the September fight card in Saitama, Japan, as it coincides with the end of his recovery from elbow surgery.  Considering the main event spot has already been booked for Roy Nelson vs Mark Hunt, it is unlikely that the ‘Reem’ will get on that particular card.

With no fight on the horizon, Overeem is out scouting his new potential gym, and while he had only completed two days worth of training, he has already noticed the energy in the gym.

“Still testing the waters. Still feeling it out, but a very positive gym, positive feel. The first impression is I like it. I like to think of myself as strategic, and in that sense we (Greg Jackson and I) speak the same language.  Very positive entrance. The guys in the gym were cool.

“So far very positive.”

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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