When he lost to Antonio Silva at UFC 156 last February, Alistair Overeem went under the radar. The phenomenally muscular Dutchman, a fighter whose appearance makes him stand out amongst a crowd, became difficult to spot.
Instead of being in the public eye, his attention, Overeem said, was given to getting back on track by making adjustments behind the MMA scenes. A new coach and a redirection in his training program became his new priority.
How far he is from getting back into title contention, however, isn’t the concern.
“I just stay really focused on my own development,” the fighter said Monday on a media conference call. “I was recovering from an injury, getting back on track. I made lot of changes in the camp and preparation and the whole process. So for me I’ve just been focusing on myself and … it’s just important to get that win. I put 100 percent effort into that, my preparation. It’s up to the … UFC to decide what I’m going to do next.”
Reports following UFC 156 said that Overeem’s testosterone levels where dangerously low. This is notable because, prior to the fight, he was under heavy scrutiny for having failed a random drug test, administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, that showed elevated levels of testosterone. The results had Overeem suspended from competition thereafter. Overeem’s explanation of the elevated levels was that he needed anti-inflammatory medication to help heal a rib injury. That medication, Overeem explained, had artificial testosterone as an ingredient, and he had no idea this was the case before injecting it into his body.
After all the testosterone talk and dealing with his first loss since coming to the UFC from Strikeforce, Overeem took time to reflect. It wasn’t a time for him to feel sorry for himself, he said. Instead, Overeem was all about taking care of himself.
Additional concerns don’t apply.
“I took some time off to [think about] everything,” Overeem said when asked what he did following his recent defeat. “I’m not a person to get depressed and mentally down.”
Overeem said he’s been training with Mike Passenier, head coach of Mike’s Gym in Holland, while preparing for his UFC Fight Night 26 bout against Travis Browne. The coaching assignment has put the fighter in a position where he’s sharing time between his residence in Miami and his homeland of Holland.
While traveling between environments, continents and time zones sounds like something that would get in the way of focus, it isn’t, according to Overeem. The fighter, not listening to what others have to say about him and his lifestyle, stood by his statement and said he’s just worried about one thing: himself.
“I’ve just been focused on my thing and not really focused on what other people think of me or what’s going to happen after this fight or who I’ll fight after,” he said. “Just been focused on my own thing and getting back on track.”