Better late than never, but Alistair Overeem has his confidence back.
The former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion suffered a brutal knockout at the hands of Antonio Silva earlier this year in a fight which would have guaranteed himself a title shot had he won. While it was very demoralizing initially, the Dutch fighter tells Newsday he feels he's finally back on the right track after focusing on his training.
"Confidence is something you build up and build through training. Obviously, after my last fight, confidence was a little bit low. But you build it back up again with hard training and hard work. I would say my confidence level is good now."
Dwelling on the past isn't going to help anyone, and "The Reem" explains that putting his most recent loss behind him is one of the reasons he's been so successful the past five years.
"I don't really think about the last fight, actually. I don't look at things in the past. I focus on what needs to be done. If I were not that type of guy, I wouldn't be where I'm at now."
It's not like this was the first time the former "Demolition Man" had tasted defeat. Overeem had a pretty rough stretch from 2005-2007 where he lost seven of 13 bouts, getting knocked out or submitted in all but one of them. If he hadn't put those losses behind him, he'd have never gone on the 12 fight unbeaten streak over the next four years which nearly put him position to vie for the UFC Heavyweight title.
Next up for Overeem is fellow top 10 heavyweight Travis Browne, who he'll take on in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 26 next weekend (Aug. 17, 2013) at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. It will be the first time UFC programming appears on the debuting network Fox Sports 1.
The current Blackzilian doesn't plan on making the mistake of underestimating his opponent again.
"I think he's a good up-and-coming fighter and I think he's aggressive, he goes for the kill. Yeah, definitely someone not to underestimate."
Do you think Overeem has learned his lesson?