Alistair Overeem pushed quite a few chips to the middle of the table in an interview Monday afternoon.
The UFC heavyweight and former champion kickboxer, who has lost his last two contests in the UFC, said if he doesn't defeat Frank Mir at UFC 167, he may seek a new line of work.
"If I lose to Frank Mir, I have to find something else to do," Overeem said Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast with host Ariel Helwani.
To date, "The Reem" has failed to meet the very high expectations that accompanied his move to the UFC at the end of 2011.
Those expectations appeared to be on track when Overeem (36-13-1, 1-2 UFC) knocked out Brock Lesnar in his Octagon debut at UFC 141. But the 33-year-old Overeem has faltered since. After missing a year of competition in the wake of a drug test failure, Overeem returned to the cage in early 2013, and was promptly knocked out by heavy underdog Antonio Silva at UFC 156. Then, a Travis Browne front kick did him in again, at UFC Fight Night 26 in August.
In Mir, Overeem faces another famous MMA heavyweight in dire need of a win. The 34-year-old Mir (16-8, 14-8 UFC) has now lost three straight, most recently a TKO loss to Josh Barnett at UFC 164.
Two of Mir's last three loses came by knockout. Mir, a former UFC heavyweight champion, protested the Barnett stoppage, saying it came too early.
As improbable as it may have seemed just a year ago, with the UFC well known for releasing fighters after losing three in a row, Mir-Overeem could unofficially be a "loser-leaves-town" match, with the beaten man receiving his UFC walking papers.
Also during the interview, Overeem said he would have preferred more time off between bouts.
"I just lost my last fight and was just thinking about what I was going to do next and have a nice holiday," Overeem said. "The fight is coming way more sooner than I expected...I was aiming for maybe December, January. But I'm a fighter and I love to be active."
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