Undefeated in the past four years, Alistair Overeem has become the uncrowned king of the heavyweight division in the eyes of many. Though, while some fans have been quick to jump on Overeem's bandwagon, there is also a faction of non-believers who question the former Strikeforce champion's level of competition.
A lackluster victory over Fabricio Werdum under the Strikeforce banner earlier this year did little to silence Overeem's critics. However, at UFC 141, Overeem will have another chance to make believers out of those who remain skeptical of his abilities.
While Overeem may have had to overcome a few obstacles to simply remain on the UFC 141 fight card, those close to "The Reem" have helped alleviate his obligations.
"[My team] basically took out all the small errands and all the small distractions away from me, so I could focus on training," Overeem told Heavy MMA in an interview at the UFC 141 open workouts. "Of course, there has to be some distractions with the Nevada State Athletic Commission and with my mother's situation, but I put the work in and I feel strong and I feel confident."
Overeem will need to have complete focus on Friday night, when he will attempt to finally become universally recognized as one of the best heavyweights in the world by defeating Brock Lesnar. Though Lesnar has been sidelined for a lengthy period of time due to a second bout with diverticulitis, Overeem is fully aware of the former UFC champion's freakish ability.
"He has beaten Randy Couture for the title and he was UFC champion," Overeem said. "The UFC is the biggest promotion out there, so I definitely think he does deserve that recognition and he's also an entertaining fighter."
Sean Smith is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA. For the latest insight and updates on everything MMA, you can follow Sean on Twitter @SeanSmithMMA.