Alistair Overeem – California Dreaming?
California Dreamin’. That is the title of Alistair Overeem’s most recent addition to the very popular and very successful REEM online documentary series. First off, I highly recommend it and it will help clear up the situation regarding Alistair quite a bit and give you a better understanding as to what exactly I am talking about (the link is here: http://vimeo.com/29809232) The only problem I have with it is the title. Yes, I know it was a clever play on words chosen by the REEM’s production team (who are fantastic by the way). If anything it seems as if Alistair has finally gotten his shot to prove himself worthy. After the roller coaster of a career that he’s been through (especially these past couple of months), he finally has gotten a chance to show that he is the best. California Dreamin’, isn’t the best way to describe it. If anything it’s The Way of the Warrior.
A Ronin by definition is a Samurai that has no master. This was in many ways was frowned upon, for the simple fact that a Samurai’s only role in life was to serve his Master. To serve his Master to the best of his abilities. His abilities to be able to serve his Master – as a Warrior – were reliant upon training in combat amongst his peers. But a Ronin simply didn’t have that option. He was deemed to roam the earth without guidance, without assistance, seeking a new master to serve. The idea of a Ronin, and what entails being a Ronin is eerily similar to Alistair Overeem’s situation. Now, is Alistair literally roaming the earth with a Katana in hand? No. But the man was on the short end of the stick on several occasions. He was deemed “overrated” by the MMA community when he had won a seemingly lack luster decision win against Heavyweight grappling ace Fabricio Werdum back in June. Not to mention the simple fact that he was kicked out of Strikeforce despite the fact that he was their Heavyweight Champion. And was soon to be destined to fight in lower league organizations for the remainder of his Professional career. This was supposedly due to Golden Glory’s policy or supposed policy of them (management and staff) getting paid directly instead of the fighters themselves. Needless to say, this was definitely a low point in Alistair’s career.
Now, since then Alistair’s situation has gotten better. He has found himself in the premier MMA organization in the world, in a number one contender fight. In many ways, it seems as if everything seems right for once. Anyway, the article is not about what happened between Golden Glory and the UFC because in reality it simply doesn’t matter anymore. Alistair has split from Golden Glory. In other words he has no training camp. So Alistair again once resembles a Ronin. A warrior with no master. A fighter with no training camp, no team mates and most importantly no coach. If you have seen the video (Calfornia Dreamin’), he is intending on moving Stateside and has looked at a number of training camps to consider training at. Ranging from the RVCA gym to King’s MMA. Personally, I think King’s MMA would be a perfect fit for him. A huge roster filled with high level fighters ranging from Mayhem to Jake Ellenberger to Shogun Rua to Fabricio Werdum. Now, Alistair has fought both Shogun and Fabricio. From what I understand, Alistair gets along with Shogun…as far as Fabricio goes – well, I don’t know. It would be nice to see both Fabricio and Alistair move on and eventually train with one another. Like the old quote says “Iron Sharpens Iron”. As far as Coaching, hypothetically speaking he would train under Ryan Parsons and Rafael Cordeiro who are two of the best Coaches out there. Two guys who can take Alistair to the next level (which is frightening). Anyway, that’s just my opinion. Hopefully you’ll respect it.
In conclusion, it’s been a long road to the top for Alistair Overeem. And he still has more to accomplish before he can finally claim he is in fact the best in the world. A lot of people in the MMA community are sleeping on him, claiming that he doesn’t deserve to be in the same sentence as Cain or Junior. But have we forgotten about Cain’s fight against Kongo? Where Kongo dropped him on numerous occasions. Or Junior’s against Cro Cop? Where an over the hill Cro Cop gave Junior his toughest fight to date in the UFC. The one thing I truly despise about the MMA community is the fact that fans switch their opinions as often as they do. It seems as if “You are only as good as you’re last fight” is a code which some people live by – which is absolutely horrible. Alistair despite what some people may say is a true threat to the Cain’s title. Whether people want to believe it or not, he is. But Alistair still has to fight Brock. And Brock is a tough opponent regardless of what some people may say. Yes, he’s not the best striker and it’s obvious. But the guy is a terrific athlete, a great wrestler and is exactly the type of fighter that will truly test Alistair. Not to mention the fact that they both look like they belong in a Conan movie. And I have to be honest, as a fan I haven’t been this excited in a long time. Do me a favor if you’re not, go to the video itself and just watch the final two minutes. If you’re not stoked for this matchup even after watching that two minute segment – you should just give up on MMA altogether. And on that note, let’s end this.