After previously going on record to slate the sport of pro wrestling, Alistair Overeem has made a 180 ° switch and will debut in the UK next month.
The combat sports icon has spent his adult life captivating fight fans from around the globe. He initially rose to fame through his achievements in the world of kickboxing, where he won the K1 world title. The Dutchman then utilised those skills through a successful transition into MMA.
He reached the pinnacle of DREAM and Strikeforce, and although he never claimed gold in the UFC, he still developed a huge following. Overeem capitalised on his supreme striking repertoire to entertain crowds and claim wins over Mark Hunt, Fabrico Werdum and ‘The Beast Incarnate’ Brock Lesnar.
But after a hard-fought career, it seems he’s beginning to pursue opportunities outside of the cage.
Alistair Overeem makes the transition to wrestling
We previously expected the icon to announce his long-awaited return to kickboxing. But in a surprise twist, the 42-year-old will headline a Wrestling Entertainment Series event on June 4 at the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham.
In a titanic main event, he will face-off against former WWE champion, Braun Strowman, or as he’s now known ‘ Adam ‘The Titan’ Scherr. ‘The Monster Among Men’ has a history of taking on combat sports stars. In 2019, he lost an epic battle to heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury at The Crown Jewel PPV. Therefore, he’ll be hoping to redeem himself against Overeem.
The MMA star joins a list of champions, including Junior Dos Santos and Henry Cejudo, who challenged themselves in the wrestling ring. However, unlike most, he’s not a lifelong fan. In fact, the reality is very much to the contrary.
Alistair Overeem has slammed wrestling in the past
Those who step inside the octagon risk their lives in every single fight. And in some cases, this gives them a feeling of resentment towards wrestlers whose matches ‘aren’t real’. However, those slating the sport, fail to grasp that it’s an entirely different ball game, but with similar health risks.
There’s no denying that Overeem falls into this category. In an interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, he referred to the craft as: “Lame, stupid and gay.”
But if his recent decision to get involved is anything to go by, we can only assume he’s changed his mind.
Featured Image Credit: Getty