UFC vet Alistair Overeem reveals reason for shocking weight loss, announces retirement

MMA and kickboxing champ Alistair Overeem says he has "decided to stop fighting."

By: Anton Tabuena | 3 months ago

Alistair Overeem, a decorated champion in both MMA and kickboxing, had fans curious and even worried after several recent photos showed him losing a pretty shocking amount of weight. Known for his massive, muscular frame from his kickboxing days, he went from the 249 lb “Ubereem” in his last fight late in 2022, and slimmed down drastically just months after.

The much slimmer Overeem now looks closer to his days as a young light heavyweight in PRIDE back in 2003. The 43-year-old revealed that the shocking weight loss was due to major lifestyle changes he has made as of late.

No more horse meat for Alistair Overeem

Alistair Overeem, who has been infamous for his love of steak and horse meat, says he has given up all of that and is now a vegetarian.

“I’ve been doing a lot of new things for health,” Overeem said on a morning show in Dubai, while showing that a bag of mixed nuts is his breakfast. “This is my next chapter, promoting health.

“I became a vegetarian also. I got no desire to eat meat anymore,” Overeem revealed. “Meat is not good for you. It negatively affects you. Yes, it tastes delicious. Even now I could still eat meat, but I just choose no to.”

Alistair Overeem details weight loss, detox… and parasites?

Overeem revealed that the he went on a detox and complete lifestyle change that had him going from regularly eating steak at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast, to not eating meat at all. He says he met a “special nutritionist” that told him he had “parasites” in his body influencing him to eat all that meat.

“I started doing detoxing. I have this special nutritionist,” Overeem said (HT: Middle Easy). “When I met him, I instantly knew this guy has knowledge so we started working and I started taking these supplements — spirulina, coralline and kelp — every morning in a reasonably high dosage… and after a couple of weeks, my diet, my appetite changed.

“‘You had parasites in your body,'” Overeem recalled his new nutritionist tell him.

“This creates an alkaline environment which these parasites do not like. They will get hurt and die off. And once you get rid of them, your tastes change. It’s not me who needs to eat meat, it’s the parasites that influence me. They work through me to make me think I want to eat meat, but it’s not me and once you get rid of them, you don’t care.”

“If I eat meat, yes it’s delicious, but then these parasites come in my system. They’re gonna move around and do their thing and then all the other things will become less healthy. This (bag of nuts) doesn’t create acidity. Meat does, sugar does.”

It’s worth noting that the validity of some of Overeem and his new nutritionist’s claims doesn’t seem to be grounded on proven science — such as how supposedly “you’re not even going to get cancer” on an alkaline diet.

Evidence based research show that his diet is overall healthy because it is based on whole and unprocessed food, but “no reliable evidence suggests it has anything to do with pH levels” and “cancer cells also grow in alkaline environments.”

Either way, this pivot into the health industry looks to be what Overeem plans on doing next.

A slimmer Overeem in an Osteopathic clinic in Japan

Alistair Overeem announces his retirement

Interestingly enough, midway through his pretty long TV appearance, Overeem just casually dropped that he has decided to hang up the gloves on a decorated combat sports career that started all the way back in 1999.

“This actually ties into what I want to do, because I actually just decided to stop fighting. This is not my thing anymore,” Overeem casually revealed in the interview. When the interviewer asked a follow up on it, he just confirmed it’s indeed the end.

“It’s been 25 years, right? We’re going to do other cool stuff now,” he said.

As for what Overeem does next, as he noted, he plans to “promote health.” As part of this media tour, Overeem was in Dubai for the World Biohack Summit. The accomplished fighter has also “acquired shares” in a health expo in the Netherlands.

If you’re wondering why there’s no fanfare or big social media announcement on his retirement, Overeem also revealed on the interview that he intentionally doesn’t go online much these days. He has deleted most of his apps and limits his screen time, in what he describes as a way to cure his “phone addiction” and have a “dopamine reset.”

Overeem says all of that ties into his next chapter of promoting health and “higher consciousness.”

UFC: UFC 141 Dec 30, 2011; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Alistair Overeem (left) against Brock Lesnar during a heavyweight bout at UFC 141 at the MGM Grand Garden event center. Las Vegas Nevada USA, EDITORIAL USE ONLY PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xMarkxJ.xRebilas-USAxTODAYxSportsx 5846514
Alistair Overeem vs Brock Lesnar in 2011 – IMAGO / Mark J. Rebilas /USA TODAY Sports

Alistair Overeem’s decorated career

Most retirements aren’t permanent in combat sports, but if this is indeed the end for Alistair Overeem, he will leave as a decorated two-sport champion at the highest of levels.

Overeem spent 10 years in the UFC, and amassed a record of 47-19 (1 NC) overall in mixed martial arts, where he also held the Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight titles.

He also had a highly impressive kickboxing career, where his dominance also likely led to a pretty controversial rule change in K-1. While he held those two MMA titles, he also won the K-1 World Grand Prix title in 2010, to become a simultaneous multi-sport champion.

Apart from his accolades, it’s worth mentioning how Overeem was also involved in drug testing controversies in his career. During his UFC tenure, he tested positive for elevated testosterone in 2012. He also reportedly tested positive for an unnamed banned substance during his most recent kickboxing bout in 2022, where he was suspended for a year and had his win over Badr Hari was overturned into a no contest.

Alistair Overeem has iconic wins over legends such as Peter Aerts, Badr Hari, Gokhan Saki and Tyrone Spong in kickboxing, and also has an impressive list of MMA victories over former UFC champions such as Brock Lesnar, Fabricio Werdum (twice), Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, and Vitor Belfort (twice).

Share this story

About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

More from the author

Bloody Elbow Podcast
Related Stories