Alistair Overeem, the most decorated striker in UFC heavyweight history, will return to his kickboxing roots after 11 years of competition in MMA. According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Overeem has signed a multi-fight deal with Glory Kickboxing. The date for his comeback fight has not yet been announced, but the Dutchman is expected to fight later this year. Ariel Helwani broke the news on his Twitter account, citing Alistair Overeem's management team as the source.
Having made his MMA and kickboxing debut in 1999, Alistair Overeem is one of the few fighters to win a major title while competing in both sports. The Dutch fighter amassed a 10-4 record in kickboxing and competed against notable fighters Badr Hari, Gokhan Saki, Peter Aerts, and Glaube Feitosa, to name a few. The win over Peter Aerts in the K1 2010 Grand Prix final was the pinnacle of Overeem's kickboxing achievements and his last kickboxing match. He also made it to the quarter-finals of the K1 2009 Grand Prix. The Dutchman fought in major MMA promotions Strikeforce and UFC for his subsequent fighting career until February 2021.
Alistair Overeem was released from the UFC in March 2021
Alistair Overeem (47-19-1NC MMA) made his UFC debut against Brock Lesnar following the UFC-Strikeforce merger in 2011. During his 10-year tenure with the organization, Overeem featured in 19 UFC fights and amassed an 11-8 record. Overeem's only UFC title shot came against former champion Stipe Miocic in 2016, in a fight that the former lost by TKO in the first round.
However, after his loss to No.5-ranked Alexander Volkov in February 2021, the 41-year-old was released from his UFC contract. The UFC, in recent times, has parted ways with aging competitors. Alistair Overeem's UFC release was part of the same process that saw veteran fighters Junior Dos Santos, Tyron Woodley and Yoel Romero leave the promotion.
Alistair Overeem hinted at retiring from the competitive sphere of combat sports with a tweet that labeled his UFC tenure 'the final run.'
However, Overeem signing a multi-fight contract with Glory is not surprising. The veteran fighter maintained a decent level of success against respectable opposition even in the latter stages of his UFC career. There is no reason to believe that Alistair Overeem cannot do the same in Glory Kickboxing.