Written by: Karim Zidan
The Blackzilian Gym has now added its largest fighter yet. Alistair Overeem has officially joined the Florida-based gym, and has confirmed the news with MMAWeekly.
Overeem, who is the UFC #1 contendor in the heavyweight division after retiring Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, has also signed with Authentic Sports Management (ASM), which is run by Glenn Robinson.
In an interview with MMAWeekly, Overeem discusses all these changes in his life and why he decided to sign with ASM.
“Since I signed my UFC contract, I knew I needed to be in the States more and, therefore, I visited several gyms, training camps, managers and other interesting people in the industry. When I came to South Florida, with ASM, I saw right away they are not only a management company, but an organization that makes sure that everything besides fighting is being taken care of.”
“They have a team of experts in their own field that can help you grow as a fighter. From Glenn Robinson working hands-on as management to Jen Wenk handling my PR and Karen Gough running marketing, a full-time nutritionist, a finance and legal department – you name it they have it. I have spoke to several people within the team and I was convinced that they can make me the new UFC world champion, so that was for me the decision to join ASM.”
“Since my split (with Golden Glory), I was taking care of my own training camp, and it’s not easy to get people come to Holland to train ahead of your fight. Flying people in from around the world is not ideal, so I knew I needed a base where I can always go when I need proper training. I found that place in South Florida,”
“It’s very important, my fight preparation against Brock was far from optimal with a lot of things going on which needed my personal attention. If you want to perform at the highest level you should only focus on training and with this step I can do so. That means everything in this championship fight.”
“The only thing that I was missing is management with experience that knows the market and is based in the States, and I found that missing link with ASM. I am bringing along some of my key players that will be integrated in ASM, so it is a win-win for everyone. By this, I am referring to some of my trainers, nutritionists, and people like Fabrice Deters and Remco Peperkamp who have been instrumental in my current success. So, having the comfort of having people around me who know me best, along with the group at ASM is the perfect situation.”
“Last, but not least, I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to my latest success versus Brock Lesnar,” Overeem stated. “From my friends in Amersfoort who stepped up and supported me during the Golden Glory split, to my striking coach Roberto Flamingo, my Fight Power Academy friends, investors, legal teams, sponsors, my striking and sparring partners, the sparring partners from Reign MMA, Xtreme Couture and also my friends and trainers from GBG MMA Babak and Joakim for their interest and support.”