Eight days departed from his UFC 213 victory of Fabricio Werdum, Alistair Overeem made a surprise appearance backstage at UFC Fight Night 113 in Glasgow, Scotland this past weekend.
Speaking to the reporters on site including UK outlet MMA Crazy, the Dutch fighter gave his thoughts on a number of subjects including the upcoming showdown between Francis Ngannou and Junior dos Santos.
Having put two wins together since his loss to UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, Overeem believes he and Ngannou are battling it out for the next title shot.
“Well I think we’re right there, but the only thing that could be in my way is Francis Ngannou who I believe has a nine-fight win streak,” Overeem said. “I’m going to be honest, what he has going for him is a nine-fight win streak, nine fights is nine fights, I have two fights, but what he doesn’t have going for him is [that] he hasn’t faced any top quality opponents.
“His nine fights have basically been, the only name on the list is Andre Arlovski who is currently going through a five fight losing streak so that’s not something to write home about.”
Overeem believes that Ngannou will come unstuck when he faces dos Santos in August and that the Brazilian will bounce back strongly from a disappointing defeat to Miocic earlier this year. The Dutchman added that he thinks once Ngannou’s winning streak has been snapped, he will be the only man left in the division worthy of a shot at the title.
— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) July 9, 2017
“The other thing he has going against him is that he fights JDS and JDS is top-five and going to be a really hard time,” Overeem said. “To be honest, I don’t think that Francis Ngannou will win that fight. I mean, anything can happen right and you always want that x-factor and that surprise, so maybe he can generate that surprise, but JDS, he always comes back stronger and I expect him to do that again. When that happens, nothing else is going to stand in the way of my title shot.”
Despite believing he’s the more credible contender for the next title shot, Overeem did put Ngannou over a legitimate threat in the heavyweight division and he believes he’s earned the right to be taken seriously. He did however, continually refer back to the fact that he believes Ngannou will be defeated by dos Santos.
“Francis is a legitimate heavyweight anyway because he’s fighting JDS,” Overeem said. “I don’t know what he’s ranked, but he’s top ten so he’s legitimate already. I just don’t see him beating JDS. I just think JDS is going to be too slick, too seasoned, too tough and [he’s] got great cardio. It’s five rounds and it’s Francis’ first five rounder. It’s going to be really tough for him.”