Alistair Overeem is ready to get back in the Octagon, and he knows when and where he wants to do it. Overeem has requested a spot on UFC Fight Night 51 on Sept. 20 in Saitama, Japan, according to UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com.
“Alistair is looking to return in September,” Fertitta said. “We haven’t finalized it yet, but he’s expressed an interest in fighting in Japan. I don’t know if we’ll have a spot on the card for that, but I would expect him to come back in that time frame.”
Overeem last fought at UFC 169 in February, where he took on Frank Mir. Overeem would win a unanimous decision, 30-27, on all three judges' cards. Following that fight, Overeem decided to have surgery on his injured elbow, per Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting:
“Initially, I didn’t realize what it was and thought it would pass... I thought [my injured] rib was worse, which it isn’t. So after 19 years of abuse to my body, I’m proud to now only have my first surgery.”
Now that Overeem is ready to return, he's looking to do it in Japan, where he has fought many times in his career. The last time he fought there was New Year's Eve 2010, when he knocked out Todd Duffee in just 19 seconds and won the Dream heavyweight title.
His two fights in Japan before that were also wins by knockouts, in a combined 1:48.
Overeem is 2-2 since joining the UFC, earning wins over former heavyweight champs Brock Lesnar and Mir, while falling to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne.
No fights have been officially announced for the Sept. 20 event, although UFC may have just found its headliner in Overeem.