Like Junior dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum isn't convinced Alistair Overeem actually earned his wins at heavyweight.
Overeem, who tested positive for elevated testosterone levels in April, has faced hordes of criticism from fellow UFC heavyweights.
In an interview with Sherdog.com, dos Santos recently claimed that Overeem's wins shouldn't be taken seriously based off his failed drug test. He feels the former K-1 champ isn't a good role model for the sport.
Overeem's next opponent, top heavyweight contender Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva, also had a few words regarding the drug allegations against the burly Dutchman. He told Fighters Only he didn't expect Overeem to be clean for their upcoming UFC 156 bout.
Werdum has fought Overeem twice in his career.
The first bout was six years ago in the opening round of the Pride Openweight Grand Prix. Werdum walked away with a second-round submission victory, but after the fight, something bothered him.
As talented as Overeem was, there was something unnatural about his physical stature. Werdum explained in this interview with CagedInsider:
For sure, this time in 2006 when I fight with him, for sure he was on the juice again, the special juice. All the time he was on the special juice, but I don't know, in Japan, it isn't like in the USA, where you have a lot of control. I like that, but in 2006, Japan and Pride had control but not like 100-percent. These guys have the tests, but not for the drugs.
Overeem is currently riding an 11-fight win streak, including a rematch win over Werdum. If he gets past Silva, he could position himself as the No. 1 contender for the UFC title.
There is no question Overeem has improved over the years. He has been ridiculed throughout his career for failing to live up to his full potential. The MMA world was aware of his exceptional talent, but back then, he never seemed to have the heart to match.
When faced with any form of adversity, the Overeem of old would usually fade and roll over for his opponent. Now he has moved up the heavyweight ranks and seems to have found his way.
If the stars align and he faces dos Santos, could Overeem oust the Brazilian heavyweight champ?
Werdum doesn't think so.
Overeem may have made a few improvements, but deep down, Werdum believes "The Reem" is the same guy he was in Pride:
Maybe, Dos Santos knocks out [Overeem] I think this one. Dos Santos has good boxing; Dos Santos is a very smart guy, very confident in his standup. I know Alistair Overeem, the K-1 champ, is good at standup too, but I think that Overeem don't have a big heart. Dos Santos has a big heart, but Overeem has like a chicken heart.