The year's most anticipated bout couldn't come at a later date, but the year-long wait will be well worth it when former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem takes on former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 141.
In a recent Yahoo! Sports blog, the heavyweight kickboxing specialist let fans know he is training in Holland in preparation for his UFC debut, and for reasons outside of fighting.
"I don’t want to go too deep into personal matters, but what happened was my mother is recovering from cancer and needs my support," Overeem wrote. "She needs me in Holland over the next couple of weeks and I came back for her."
The 31-year-old is regarded as one of the top five heavyweights in the world, and his 10-fight win streak has led him to a No. 1 contender's bout in the world's leading MMA organization. The winner will face reigning UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who recently knocked out Cain Velasquez in November for the title.
Overeem's victories include those over Fabricio Werdum, Vitor Belfort, Sergei Kharitonov and Brett Rogers. Outside of MMA, he is also a former K-1 kickboxing champion.
Lesnar hasn't fought since losing his title to Velasquez over a year ago.
"I have no problem saying that I think I can match power with Brock Lesnar," Overeem wrote. "In fact the UFC poster for our fight has Brock and me side by side with our measurements and I am the bigger man."
"There are some fighters who I think are born great, guys like Georges St. Pierre and Jon Jones," he continued. "I was born a very good fighter, but I have to work very hard to get to 'great' and that’s why I have made so many sacrifices already to win the UFC title."
UFC 141 will be available on pay-per-view, Friday, Dec. 30.