Alistair Overeem does not want to fight Junior dos Santos.
MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani appeared on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight, and he brought some juicy news regarding Mr. Overeem.
After speaking with UFC president Dana White, Helwani relayed that Overeem was offered a five-round main event fight with the former UFC heavyweight champion dos Santos in Brazil.
"The Demolition Man" said "no."
After that, White offered Overeem a three-round co-main event bout in Las Vegas with Cigano.
"The Reem" said "no" again.
After declining two offers, White expressed his discontent with Overeem, saying:
"He wants nothing to do with dos Santos. He's literally hiding from him."
According to Helwani, Overeem is on vacation and refused comment on the matter.
For now, this does not look good for the resurgent heavyweight kickboxer.
After dismantling Frank Mir at UFC 169, Overeem set himself up for another run at the UFC heavyweight title. Instead, he called out current professional wrestler and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in his post-fight interview, showing little interest in a viable, career-building bout.
Now, after turning down two separate chances to fight dos Santos, it appears Overeem is simply not in the frame of mind to make a run at the title. If he would rather fight Lesnar, that shows that "The Demolition Man" is looking for a paycheck—for the spotlight—rather than a challenge.
That's disappointing news for Overeem and for the heavyweight division in general. Personally, I feel that the Overeem who showed up at UFC 169 was the best Overeem to ever compete in mixed martial arts action, and he represented a welcome contender to the big boys' division.
As it stands, however, Overeem appears disinterested in a bout with dos Santos, a fight which made sense for each man moving forward.
UPDATE: Overeem has reached out to Helwani and clarified his reasons for turning down the bouts with dos Santos.
"I'm hurt," he told Helwani. "Rib problem. So first [I] need an ETA on recovery time. [It] would be unwise to accept any fight before knowing exactly what's up. [I] wouldn't want to pull out of any fight [due to] being unfit, especially an anticipated fight as this one."
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