After nearly twenty-five years, a hall of fame-worthy combat sports career has ended. Alistair Overeem has officially announced his retirement from martial arts at age 43, amassing a final record of 47-19-1NC in MMA and 10-4-1NC in Kickboxing, via an interview on Panorama, a Dutch news outlet.
Overeem had multiple career highs during his run since debuting in 1999. "The Demolition Man" became a luminary in Pride FC as one of their most accomplished and well-recognized fighters. He participated in three Pride tournaments, with his most notable victory coming against Vitor Belfort in the promotion. Following his Pride departure, Overeem captured the Strikeforce and Dynamite!! (DREAM) Heavyweight titles before finally signing with the UFC in 2011.
Overeem would also participate in multiple Kickboxing bouts in K-1, with some career highlights including his monumental upset victory over Peter Aerts where he claimed the K-1 World Grand Prix, and his two bouts vs. Moroccan legend Badr Hari, with the pair claiming finish victories over each other.
Overeem would be the man to welcome the phenom that was Brock Lesnar back to the UFC after losing the UFC Heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez, headlining UFC 141. "The Reem" would go on to defeat Lesnar via first-round TKO. What would ensue would be a twenty-fight run in the UFC, going 12-8 in the promotion and challenging Stipe Miocic for the title in 2016 following his monstrous four-fight win streak.
Following his defeat to Miocic, Overeem would only lose to the division's elite and continue to trade wins and losses until 2021. His noteworthy wins during this run include Sergei Pavlovich, Augusto Sakai, Aleksei Oleinik, and Walt Harris. However, in February 2021, he suffered a TKO defeat to Alexander Volkov. He was released from the UFC without much notice, leaving a sour taste in fans' mouths as most expected a more glamourous farewell for the Dutch fan-favorite.
However, Overeem still had one more battle left in him. On October 18th, 2022, "The Demolition Man" would snap his eighteen-month layoff and return to GLORY Kickboxing, facing Badr Hari in their trilogy bout. Overeem would lose the first two rounds, and with just one round to go, he knocked Hari down twice in the third to win a unanimous decision. However, this fight was overturned to an NC following a positive drug test from Overeem. Despite this, Overeem has retired with the winning taste in his mouth, going out on his terms.
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