Alistair Overeem leaving the MMA cage, maybe for the political arena

Retired MMA fighter and kickboxer Alistair Overeem is looking for a new gig, as a politician.

By: Nate Wilcox | 2 months ago
Alistair Overeem leaving the MMA cage, maybe for the political arena

Alistair Overeem is retired and heading to politics

Legendary Dutch MMA fighter Alistair Overeem (47-19-1 NC) seems to have a vision for the post-MMA chapter of his life: politics. Known as “The Demolition Man”, the Pride and UFC star never held a title in either promotion. He did challenge Stipe Miocic for the UFC heavyweight strap in 2016, winning Fight of the Night honors despite being KO’d in the first round.

According to Nu.ul Overeem has retired from combat sports and is now setting his sights on a political career.

That article states that Alistair Overeem has joined Belang van Nederland and he intends on running for a seat in the Netherlands’ House of Representatives.

Overeem has not confirmed this news on social media. But he did post a picture of him opposite BVNL leader Wybren van Haga.

Belang van Nederland’s leader has a very interesting past

BVNL founder Wybren van Hega has had an interesting political run since being elected to the Dutch House of Representatives in 2017. His 2019 expulsion (following a drunk driving conviction) from the old style liberal VVD party brought down the Rutte cabinet. After a period as an independent member of parliament he then joined the right-wing Forum for Democracy party headed by Thierry Baudet. He ascended to the #2 position at the party before splitting with them in response to a poster put out by the party which compared the COVID-19 lockdowns to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Wikipedia sums up the party’s ideology as such (keep in mind that Wikipedia is a source with as many biases and blindspots as it has editors):

“Van Haga claimed that BVNL will be a classical liberal party and “culturally conservative, but classically liberal when it comes to the role of government”. BVNL also claims that individual liberty, freedom and the protection of Dutch history, cultural identity, and interests as the main cornerstones of its policies. The party also states that it supports technological advancement, a reformed criminal justice system, more controls on immigration and removal of immigrants with criminal records, and simplified tax codes.

“BVNL also calls for an end to handing over Dutch sovereignty and political power to the European Union, for referendums on Dutch membership of key EU treaties, and for a vote on Nexit (Dutch withdrawal from the European Union) if polls indicate public support for one. The party also states that the Dutch constitution and laws must come ahead of international law and policies created by supranational bodies. BVNL also calls for a more critical examination of big tech companies, for freedom of speech to be protected and “academic freedom” within universities.

“The party is also opposed to some of the COVID-19 lockdown measures taken by the Dutch government, arguing that social and economic collateral damage was not taken into proper consideration. Van Haga has described BVNL as less socially conservative on LGBT and gender issues than the FvD and JA21, which also split off from the FvD, and more focused on economic liberalism.”

So I’d say it’s on the populist right but not on the right-most fringes of that movement.

Alistair Overeem was briefly the lineal heavyweight champ of MMA

All told he went 12-8 in the UFC, notching notable wins over ex-champs Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski, and Fabricio Werdum but taking losses from the likes of Ben Rothwell, Francis Ngannou, and the aforementioned Miocic among others.

Before the UFC bought his contract along with all of Strikeforce, Alistair Overeem had briefly held the Strikeforce heavyweight title — at the time the lineal MMA heavyweight championship title since he won it in a tournament that saw former Pride champ Fedor Emelienenko defeated by Fabricio Werdum in the first round. He also beat former UFC champ Vitor Belfort under the Strikeforce banner.

He defended that belt once against Brett Rogers after the tournament and was simultaneously the Dream heavyweight champ after mauling the briefly hyped UFC vet Todd Duffee.

His Dream run also saw him take a No Contest against the legendary Mirko Cro Cop after kneeing the Croatian in the groin twice.

Here’s a fun Overeem highlight reel:

Alistair Overeem – All Knockouts

The horsemeat era and the early Pride days

During his Strikeforce and Dream run, Overeem had bulked up dramatically, making his 2012 drug test failure no shock to many fans although some of us preferred to cling to his explanation that it was his taste for horsemeat that explained the massive muscle gain.

More recently the pounds have been melting off the man.

Overeem was also a regular in Pride when the Japanese promotion was hands down the world’s most popular and significant. Overeem went 7-7 in that promotion notching wins over Belfort, the fearsome Igor Vovchanchyn, and Sergei Kharitonov while dropping losses to Chuck Liddell, Shogun Rua (2x), Antônio Rogério Nogueira “Little Nog” (2x), Ricardo Arona and splitting his series with Kharitonov.

Overeem first came to international attention in the little-remembered but very important Rings King of Kings tournaments in 1999 and 2000 that included future stars like Fedor Emelienenko, Antonio Rodrigo “Big Nog” Nogueira, Dan Henderson, Randy Couture and Renato “Babalu” Sobral.

Overeem also had a notable kickoxing career

Alistair Overeem started his combat sports career at age 17 as a kickboxer, going 10-4 (1NC) and fighting at the highest levels. He notched a KO win over the great Badr Hari (which Hari avenged a year later) and won the 2010 K-1 Grand Prix, beating the legendary Peter Aerts in the finals.

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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