First you get the big bucks and then you get the opponent. It's been quite a week for No. 3-ranked UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem, who re-signed with the leading mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion to pursue his goal of raising the 265-pound belt.
Overeem, 35, had the bargaining chip of three-fight win streak in his back pocket when negotiating with ZUFFA brass. "The Demolition Man," who knocked out ex-champion Junior dos Santos at UFC on FOX 17 last December, made for a sweet addition to the promotion's debut event in his native Netherlands in May.
Matchmakers thought enough of the Jackson-Wink MMA stud to slot him in the main event and today (Sat., Feb. 20, 2016) an opponent has been revealed, courtesy of MMA journalist Jeremy Botter.
Little Saturday breaking news for you. Alistair Overeem’s opponent for UFC Rotterdam main event will be teammate Andrei Arlovski.— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) February 20, 2016
This should be interesting.
Arlovski, a teammate of Overeem's at their Albuquerque, N.M., base camp, is one fight removed from being put on his behind thanks to a well-placed right hand from the explosive Stipe Miocic at UFC 195 one month ago. "The Pit Bull" saw his four-fight win streak go up in smoke and his title hopes dashed.
But now Arlovski will have the opportunity to leapfrog back into title conversations if he can oust Overeem.
One of these men will need to make a statement inside Ahoy Rotterdam on May 8, 2016. It's getting kind of crowded at the top.