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Alistair Overeem targets September return after UFC St. Petersburg win, says it’s ‘too soon’ for title shot

Alistair Overeem may have had to eat furious right hooks from Russian veteran Aleksei Oleinik earlier today (Sat., April 20, 2019) at UFC on ESPN+ 7 live on ESPN+ from inside Yubileyny Sports Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, but the former K-1 World Grand Prix champion eventually prevailed to earn a first-round TKO stoppage over “Boa Constrictor.”

While Overeem was originally slated to meet towering Russian heavyweight Alexander Volkov at UFC St. Petersburg, his stoppage over Oleinik, who was riding back-to-back submission wins over Mark Hunt and Sergei Pavlovich, is a huge step in the right direction for a former title challenger on the rebound. Overeem had also taken care of Pavlovich via first-round TKO back in November.

Despite his recent success and undeniable track record, Overeem doesn’t believe it’s time to start thinking about his second UFC heavyweight title shot. For now, the 38-year-old veteran is looking to get back into the cage this September and continue his divisional resurgence.

“I’m aiming for September. Fighting in September and then again later in the year. But after three wins we will start talking about the title,” said Overeem during UFC St. Petersburg’s post-fight press conference (video replay here). “Not yet, it’s too soon.”

Considering Overeem has fought nearly every heavyweight currently ranked in the top 10 there aren’t too many fresh options available. That’s why “The Reem” is holding out hope that UFC re-books his previously scheduled bout with Volkov and the two international strikers can duke it out later this year.

“There’s not choice in the UFC. I mean you choose who you fight? That’s not how the UFC works. The UFC will match you with whoever is interesting and that’s based on rankings,” Overeem explained.

“To me, Alexander Volkov is still ranked somewhere there, we were supposed to fight tonight. I’m still looking for that fight. Let’s do that first and then we’ll figure out who comes after.”

If Volkov’s name somehow slips off the table maybe the promotion can coax Cain Velasquez to sign the dotted line for a dream matchup with Overeem this September. It’s wishful thinking, but a nice backup plan if the Volkov fight happens to fall through.

For complete UFC St. Petersburg results and coverage click here.

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