Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Alistair Overeem on Distractions Before Lesnar Fight: 'My Focus Is Entirely There'


source: Mike Chiappetta | mmafighting.com

With less than two months to go before his UFC debut, all hell seemed to break loose for Alistair Overeem. He parted ways with his longtime Golden Glory team, a split which led to a lawsuit. His mother was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer. And most recently, he faced the possibility that his UFC 141 fight with Brock Lesnar might not even happen after drug testing difficulties threatened him from receiving a fighter's license in Nevada.

With time running low, Overeem still hasn't received notification of his license, but he still expects to fight. Regardless of all the troubles, Overeem says he has not wavered from task of beating Lesnar.

"My mental focus is entirely there," he said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "Of course, you have to do this and do that, but I get over it fairly quick because I see it as my work. I'm 100 percent there, I'm 100 percent motivated. I know I'm going to beat him. I know it's my time."

Overeem is still in Holland and said he would spend Christmas with his mother before traveling to Nevada for the fight.

Overeem wouldn't place the blame for the drug test mixup on anyone, saying it was a combination of factors including his unfamiliarity with dealing with U.S. state athletic commissions that led to the problem.

As a result of the issue, Overeem will be subject to a series of tests over the next few months. He had to take a test just a few days ago, will have another pre-fight test on the day of weigh-ins, and then be subject to two random screenings within the next six months.

Instead of looking it as an imposition on him, Overeem sees it as a way to convince the skeptics that he's clean.

"The good thing is, and I tend to view it through the good lens, it can work in my favor because you're going to take away the critic's arguments," he said. "I'm going to be the most tested fighter in MMA history."

He also faced the issue of attempting to build a camp in short order. He started off in Las Vegas with Xtreme Couture, but when he returned home to care for his mother, he had to pull in his own team with which to prepare.

He said that wasn't an issue as he had been actively working to build a wider network of workout partners within the last few years, and made calls to some of those acquaintances to help out. Though he declined to provide details, he did acknowledge that he brought in wrestlers specifically to prepare for Lesnar's strength.

As the rocky road to UFC 141 finally nears its end, Overeem affirms that the past history won't effect him when it matters the most.

"Despite all distraction I'm good," he said. "I feel good. I put the work in since August already. My conditioning is good. My preparation has been a little bit rocky with all the distractions coming down, but mentally and physically I'm 110 percent here."