Complete transcription after the jump.
The interview started off with the answer to the question we've all been waiting on. Why did Overeem really get cut by Zuffa?
"What happened was a cut, but there was a little bit of history. Before the cut, there was some communication about the date. I was promised personally by Scott (Coker) that the second round of the Strikeforce GP was gonna be held in October. Well, that all changed. I heard, about two and a half weeks ago, Showtime wanted to change the date to September 10th. The reasons are unknown. I think it was because, in October, there were already scheduled some UFC events and they didn't wanna compete against their own show, so they re-scheduled it to September tenth. My thing was that I had an injury, injuries from the Werdum fight, and they (the injuries) prevented me from training. So basically, I committed to my management, the Golden Glory management that the agreed date was in October and they said, 'No. They moved it to September tenth.' I said, 'I'm not gonna be ready on September tenth, because I have these small injuries which are preventing me from training now, but I'll be good-to-go in about two weeks.'" Basically, then there were some threats from the side of Strikeforce. 'If you're not compete on September tenth, we're gonna cut you from the tournament.' Well my first reaction was, 'Well, I'm not gonna be fit to fight by September tenth, so you're gonna have to go ahead and continue the tournament without me.' Then, the communication harshened a little bit. It was like, 'If you don't compete in the tournament, you're gonna be cut from Strikeforce entirely.' It was really like a threat, so I was like, 'Then go ahead and cut me.' They went along and cut me. So then, for me, we had to gather the evidence, because I had to know if the evidence was really that bad that I couldn't compete on September tenth. So, I went up to the doctor. My rib was still hurting a little bit. He felt my rib and he sent me to the hospital to make a scan, a picture, x-ray, and there, it appeared that my rib was broken. It was broken in a bad way, a fracture. A normal rib fracture is like four to six weeks (out of action), but this was in a certain area which would cost me another month to rehabilitate. So that, for me, was the definite proof that I couldn't compete for September tenth. It was not just a mind thing, 'I'm not ready. I don't feel good.' It was scientifc evidence, medical evidence, to back up that claim. The strange thing is, Strikeforce, they cut me. As they threatened to do, they did it. But they didn't ask me for any medical evidence. I don't know what they were thinking. Maybe they were thinking I was bluffing or something. I don't know."
Overeem went on to say that his injuries are not as recent as everyone may believe, stating that he was actually hampered by injuries going into the fight against Fabricio Werdum on Jun. 18.
"Basically, before the Werdum fight, I broke my toe, a bad fracture (shows, with hand gestures what fracture looked like) It hurt. It was very annoying. I couldn't spar. I couldn't run. I couldn't do all that stuff. I was very handicapped. But I quickly switched to swimming and other stuff. But it did hamper my preparation and there was some other stuff: my rib, some bruises here and there. Butthose other small injuries are normal. At this level, you're always gonna have some injuries. But the foot, that was a big issue. That could have been a reason to cancel the fight. But listen, I wanted to fight. I wanted to be in the Strikeforce GP. So yeah, of course, I was gonna do everything I could to make ready and we got ready. The foot healed up. We were able to fight. I was not a hundred percent. I was a little bit passive. I couldn't kick. The foot was still hampering me. But yeah, basically, Scott Coker promised me that the second round was gonna be in October and in the meantime, to heal up, to heal from those small injuries and let the foot heal."
Overeem voiced his feelings regarding his fellow Golden Glory fighters being cut by Zuffa.
"I just heard about the news this morning. I don't know what to think about it. Marloes got cut. Jon Olav got cut. My brother got cut. They basically have nothing to do with me. It's just a little bit weird. It's a weird situation. I don't understand it."
On whether or not he was using injuries to try and re-negotiate his contract, Overeem had this to say:
"Definitely not. Definitely not. The basic thing was that there was no negotiation, except for the date. It was the only communication that was going. Then the second thing that happened was that Strikeforce found out that I only had one fight left on my contract. So they were like, 'Hey, wait a minute. If Alistair wins this fight (against Kharitonov), he's gonna be in the finals...without a contract.' There were some contract negotiations for an extension with Strikeforce, and basically what happened was, there were a lot of terms in there which we could not live with. One (of the terms) was to exclusively fight for Strikeforce. That would mean I'd have to let K-1 go, and to let Dream go and even the possibility of fighting in the UFC. I'm always a guy who's looking up, looking further, and the UFC is where the top guys are. That's my ultimate goal: To become the UFC champion. But basically, they wanted to keep me in Strikeforce."
During the interview, Overeem stated that he is still open to negotiating a possible deal with the UFC.
"Listen. There's two people ranked currently above me, and they're both in the UFC. Of course I wanna go to the UFC. I mean, I wanna fight the top competition. These guys (those ranked higher than Overeem) are there. It's not up to me. It's up to: 'Does the UFC want me?' I'm willing to go wherever the top guys are."
What do you think, Maniacs? You buyin' what "The Reem" is sellin'? Do you think we'll ever see him fighting under the Zuffa banner again?
Transcription and editorial by Kevin Haggerty.