At 6’5″ a rumored walking weight of 280 pounds, to say that Alistair Overeem stands out in a downtown Tokyo train station would be an understatement. There’s no doubt that “The Reem” is big in Japan, both literally and ﬁguratively, so it’s no surprise that in spite of a mixed record in kickboxing and MMA (including losses in his last three outing’s in Pride), Overeem became a star… to the Japanese. Outside of hardcore ﬁght fans, however, Overeem has yet to reach quite the level of recognizability in the U.S. as he obtained in the Land of the Rising Sun. With the popularity of MMA in Japan waning, Overeem’s crossover to the UFC more than a year ago had positioned him to become one of the UFC’s biggest names. This month, FIGHT! catches up with the Demolition Man to see how he’s been regrouping over the past year, and how his new surroundings are helping to prepare him for a run at the one belt missing from his collection, the UFC Heavyweight Title.
A visit with Overeem also means a visit with his new home base—MMA powerhouse team, the Blackzilians. On page 80, be sure to check out how the team was formed, and why so many top names are joining their quickly growing ranks.
In addition to Alistair’s new home in South Florida, on page 64, we pay a special tribute to one of his previous employers with a look back at Strikeforce through the years. After producing some of the best MMA shows available for almost seven years and giving the UFC some of their most spirited competition, Scott Coker’s creation is ﬁnally coming to an end. The January 12 card, headlined by Daniel Cormier and featuring other well known talent such as Nate Marquardt and Luke Rockhold, promises to be a ﬁtting ﬁnale to one of sport’s most exciting promotions. I hope you’ll tune in to enjoy the send off, and we hope you enjoy the issue!