It was confirmed late last week that Jackson-Wink MMA teammates Andrei Arlovski and Alistair Overeem will be facing each other in the UFC Fight Night 87 main event in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
According to another of Jackson-Wink’s top fighters, UFC women’s bantamweight champ Holly Holm, preparing two of their athletes to go head-to-head hasn’t been an easy thing for the coaches.
“The coaches have literally lost sleep over that one,” Holm told media last week.
“We actually had a team meeting before. This is not something we have to overlook. It could happen, because we do have the best gym in the world and we’re producing great fighters. We knew that this might happen eventually.”
Holm actually has a degree of experience preparing to fight a sparring partner, having almost come up against teammate Sarah Kaufman before being moved into her history-making title fight with Ronda Rousey.
“That was actually awkward,” Holm recalled. “Sarah and I talked on the phone about it: ‘Hopefully we’re gonna see if they can put something else together.’ Out of all the girls in the division, this is like the only one that I trained with.
“It’s not like it’s a title fight. I get if it’s a title fight, because only one person gets to have the title. All the other matchups, why do they have to make this one? There are plenty of other girls out there.”
Though she may not be entirely comfortable with the situation, Holm can at least understand things from a professional perspective.
“It’s not the first time we’ve had to deal with something like that on our team, but this is a pretty big one,” Holm said. “They were both kind of on this big comeback streak. Who wants to knock the other one right back? But like I said, we’re all in this sport for a reason. We want to reach the top.”
UFC Fight Night 87 takes place at Ahoy Rotterdam on May 8th