The Reem Signed! Turned Down Title Fight to Face Brock Lesnar at UFC 141

Strikeforce heavyweight champion, DREAM Interim heavyweight champion and K-1 kickboxing champion, Alistair Overeem has signed a deal with UFC and will make his debut against former UFC heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 30th, 2011.

He is now exclusive to UFC, meaning he will no longer compete as a kickboxer, something he long said he would refuse to give up. His contract is also described as being “long term” and the issue UFC President Dana White was very open on with his camp, Team Golden Glory, is close to being worked out.

Overeem was initially offered a title unification bout against the winner of the Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos fight at UFC on FOX on November 12th, which he turned down because he didn’t want to wait that long.

Dana White, speaking via the L.A. Times, said:

“This is the fight the fans want. Both of these guys are monsters. Can Lesnar take Overeem down?”

Lesnar lost last time out, losing the heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 in October, but has since been recovering from a second stint with the digestive disorder diverticulitis. The illness first sidelined him for nearly a year after defeating Frank Mir at UFC 100. He returned to successfully defend his title against Shane Carwin at UFC 116 and went on to coach against Junior Dos Santos in the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter, but was unable to participate in the culminating fight against Dos Santos in June at UFC 131.

Overeem won the Strikeforce heavyweight title in November 2007 against Paul Buentello but only defended the belt once, against Brett Rogers, before participating in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix, where he won a rematch with Fabricio Werdum in June before being released from the final fight on his contract when he was unable to fight in its semifinals later this month.

The Lesnar-Overeem winner will be the top contender to challenge the winner of November’s UFC on Fox main event between the heavyweight champion Velasquez and challenger dos Santos. The UFC’s traditional New Year’s event will be held on Friday to avoid New Year’s Eve the following night.

About William Smith

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