Alistair Overeem thinks he is “on his way” to becoming one of the all-time greats of mixed martial arts.
The former Strikeforce heavyweight champion and PRIDE FC veteran says that going undefeated in the last five years marks him out as someone who could be on his way to writing his name in the history books. However, in the interview with MTV, he shied away from outright declaring himself to be a legend in the making.
“I don't know, we've had some great names in the past. I mean Fedor Emelianenko passed the thing, we have Anderson Silva, he's there now doing a great job. He's a middleweight where Fedor was a heavyweight,” he said.
“I mean, I'm somewhere around the ranks. I'm on my way, five-years undefeated but of course you can't talk that much about yourself and I don't want to I think that's something for the people to decide by themselves, you know?”
“I'm just here to build my legacy, I still have a lot of years left in me, I'm healthy, I have no injuries, I'm very motivated, I'm very happy now to be fighting for the UFC and working hard to create my legacy. For me, I'm just doing the thing I love every day.
“I go to the gym, I love the type of life. I love the dedication that comes to it, the development that comes to it. I'm going to have other people decide what legacy I have when I have the belt.”
Overeem is currently serving out a suspension that will run until December 27. It was issued by the Nevada State Athletic Commission earlier this year when a sample he provided at a surprise test in March contained elevated testosterone levels, a common indicator of steroid use.
Overeem explained the result by producing a prescription from a disreputable Texas doctor. The doctor had apparently provided a substance for a rib injury Overeem was suffering and this mixture - in a clear jar with a handwritten label - contained testosterone, a banned substance for athletes.
Despite admitting self-administering the substance, Overeem claimed to be entirely unaware of its contents. The Nevada State Athletic Commission gave some credence to his explanation and suspended him for nine months rather than twelve.