Alistair Overeem will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon when he faces Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 50, which is scheduled for Foxwoods Resort & Casino in Ledyard, Conn., on Sept. 5, 2014.
Overeem -- who is now 100-percent healthy -- recently returned to the win column at UFC 169 with a decision win over Frank Mir after suffering back-to-back losses to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne in 2013. He'll look to make it two straight wins when he faces "Big Ben," a fellow heavy-hitter who also seeks his second straight win.
But, unlike the Mir fight, Overeem says this fight won't go the distance, predicting a knockout victory on "The MMA Hour:"
"Knockout. It's not going to be a decision fight because Ben is not that type of guy. And I, in general, also am not that type of guy. Sometimes there are exceptions, but in general. I always go for the finish. Even in the Mir fight I was going for the finish, I'm just not going to be sloppy and gas myself out and get in danger of getting submitted. Even in the Frank Mir fight, he was trying to go for the submission all the way to the end, trying to lure me into making a mistake. I did not let that happen and I fought a little of a safe fight, but I was still going for the finish. I was still clocking him. Did you see his face? Look at the stats. You can't say I wasn't trying to knock him out."
Overeem will look to get that win as the newest member of the famed Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA camp in Albuquerque, New Mexico. One that "The Reem" says will help him make the necessary changes in his MMA game to keep winning.
After Overeem left The Blackzilians squad earlier this year, it prompted many of his now-former teammates to voice their displeasure at the striking Dutchmen's bad training habits and refusal to be a part of the team.
Words that Overeem said were unnecessary. In addition, he says "chemistry" (or lack thereof) is what lead to his departure. Good chemistry, however, is what Alistair is currently experiencing with his new teammates in New Mexico.
"I think it has to do with chemistry. And chemistry has to do with mentality. Some people just mix better with other people. From the get go, and you're aiming at the Blackzilians I think, the mentality was different. The chemistry was not optimal. It's not their fault, it's not my fault, it's just the way it is. Sometimes you meet people and the chemistry is not all there, but your still a team. But when the training is not optimal, you're not going to get optimal results. I came here with a blank sheet and I am just myself. I've had my fair share of gyms, Yo u have to be realize, it takes tame, be yourself and there are other people in the gym. You observe and take it easy, the chemistry here, the people are more like me, the mentality of what I have, so it works. I'm more in my element."
"I'm not going to lower myself to talk bad about those guys, it's just a waste of energy. I'm going to wish them luck in whatever they do. I'm going to focus on me, that's it. I was (disappointed) a little bit because it was unnecessary and it just aggravates negative vibes. We are all searching for the positive vibes. Let's just let bygones be bygones. Unfortunately, not everybody is that clever. So, yeah."
As far as his relationship with UFC president Dana White, Overeem says it's all positive vibes despite the head honcho's past comments accusing "Demolition Man" of using injuries as an excuse to hide from Junior dos Santos.
According to Overeem, White made those comments before he actually knew the severity of his injury. The former K-1 striker went on to say that he wants to face "JDS" after his Heavyweight showdown against "Big Ben."
But, he must first take care of business at UFC Fight Night 50, the FOX Sports 1 event that features a rematch between Gegard Mousasi vs. Ronaldo Souza in the main event of the evening, while Joe Lauzon is expected to make his return against Michael Chiesa in a fun Lightweight scrap.
To see the latest UFC Fight Night 50 card, click here.