Alistair Overeem recently parted ways with the Golden Glory team, his home for 12 years. He moved his camp to the US and was training with Xtreme Couture - but that hardly got off the ground as he was forced to return to the Netherlands to attend to his mother, who is ill with cancer.
Fighters Only asked his former trainer - and friend - Martijn De Jong for a prediction on the December 30th fight with Brock Lesnar. It will be Overeem’s UFC debut and if he wins he gets a title shot. De Jong thinks Overeem can pull the win off - but only if he is feeling truly confident.
“If Alistair had his old team surrounding him, he would have definitely won this fight, I would have predicted a second-round TKO. Now, it's a different story. I am not involved in his camp anymore. Me knowing him well, and with all the recent events happening, it is hard to predict.
“As everybody knows, he split up with his long-time family Golden Glory. This is not only a split with his management but also with his trainers and teammates (not to be confused with sparring partners). The whole energy leading up to the fight and during the fight will be different.
“Besides that he flew his whole new camp to Las Vegas just to return after a week or so as his mother had to go through medical procedures. Then the Athletic State Commission was hunting him down for 4 weeks trying to get a valid steroid test, which resulted in a hearing and some strict requirements.
“Besides all that, Brock will be the crowds favourite. All this mentioned above would be very hard for any fighter to prepare fully for a big fight like this, and Brock is a strong, huge and amazing wrestler who can take a punch.
“Of course Alistair has the edge striking standing up and Brock has the edge wrestling and on the ground.
“With all of Alistair's skills and experience - he was with Golden Glory for 12 years, after all - he still might be able to pull off the W but it's not gonna be easy. Fighting is mostly a mental game. The one who will have that in place will be the victor on December 30.”