UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem is set to return to the Octagon on Sept. 5th when he faces Ben Rothwell at UFC Fight Night 50, but this time something will be different. While much of his more recent U.S. run was done as part of the Blackzilians camp, now Overeem returns to the cage as part (for now) as a student of the famed duo of Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in Albuquerque, N.M.
While things clearly didn’t work out Overeem in Florida with the Blackzilians, the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion – along with the rest of the Jackson’s camp – report everything has been smooth sailing once he showed up to train.
I think it has to do with chemistry, Overeem told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s The MMA Hour. And chemistry has a lot to do with that mentality. Some people just mix better with other people. From the get go – and you’re aiming for the Blackzilians, I think – the mentality was different, so then the chemistry is not optimal.
It’s not their fault, Overeem explained. It’s not my fault. It’s just the way it is. Sometimes you meet people and the chemistry’s not all there, but still you’re kind of in a marriage because you’re training with them on your team. But when the chemistry’s not optimal, you’ll never get optimal results.
As soon as I came here with a blank sheet, I was just myself. I knew, ‘You’re coming into a new group.’ I’ve been training for 20 years now, so I’d had my fair share of gyms. You just have to be relaxed. Give it some time, show yourself. There’s other people in the gym, other stars. Just observe a little. Take it easy. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing here. The chemistry, people are a little more like the mentality that I have. So, it works.