Alistair Overeem is ready for anything.
Following a third-round knockout of Mark Hunt in a main-card bout at UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada, Saturday night, Overeem, the No. 3 ranked heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is open to any fight in the near future.
“I like to test myself,” Overeem said. “I believe that opponent makes me better. I don’t know. He (Francis Ngannou) mentioned my name and I was open to the idea. I was like, ‘Hey! Wait a minute! Somebody wants to fight me.’
“I never back down from nobody who wants to fight me, that’s one, and No. 2, Francis is there. If it happens, that’s great, but I’m also going to be looking for that other fight, of course the championship fight, JDS vs. Stipe.”
Overeem has been in The Octagon with both heavyweight title contender Junior dos Santos and champion Stipe Miocic with mixed results in the bouts.
On his way toward a title shot against Miocic, Overeem stopped dos Santos with punches in the second round of their bout in December of 2015. However, 10 months later, Overeem suffered a devastating knockout loss to Miocic in the main event of UFC 203 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland last September.
“Two great athletes, two tremendous fighters, and I really loved their first fight,” Overeem said. “It was back and forth and a very tough fight for both. If JDS would win that one, I could see a rematch there too, me and JDS.
“I don’t know. It’s very tight. Stipe’s doing great work. Ever since he lost to JDS, he’s been on a roll. He’s finishing opponents left and right, dominating them, but JDS is a tough cookie and he won their first fight, so I don’t know. I don’t know.
“Again, two tremendous athletes, two tremendous warriors. I can only have respect for both from what they’ve shown in The Octagon. I’m not rooting for anybody, but I’m just saying that if JDS wins that, there’s a little something there between me and JDS that could be a shortcut.”
Regardless of when, where and against whom his next fight is, Overeem promises to be ready for when he next steps into The Octagon.
“I’m open to fighting Francis,” Overeem said. “I’m open to fighting Derrick Lewis. I’m open to fighting the winner of JDS-Stipe if JDS wins because that’s a little more logical step to me. It needs to make sense, so we’re going to wait and see.
“We’re going to wait and see what’s going to be on the table. The UFC’s coming to Holland, I think sometime this year, so I’m very excited about that and we’ll see. I’m just going to make sure I don’t take too much time off, get back in the gym and get better than I was yesterday.”
© 2017 WKYC-TV