It doesn't get much scarier than Alistair Overeem these days.
At 6 foot 5, 265 pounds Overeem is a monster inside the cage. His body teeming with bulging muscles, simply waiting to mash you into bits.
It's easy to write off someone of that size and strength as nothing more than a behemoth, someone who lacks the refined skills necessary to crack the elite of mixed martial arts. But Overeem is so much more than just size and strength.
The former light heavyweight is coming off a dazzling run of success in both mixed martial arts and kickboxing. When Overeem defended his Strikeforce heavyweight belt against Brett Rogers in May 2010 he made his fellow 265 pounder look like a small child in the cage, whipping him around with startling ease like a tiger playing with his meat.
The Dutch fighter than entered the most prestigious kickboxing tournament in the world, the K-1 World Grand Prix. Filled with notable opponents like Gokhan Saki, Tyrone Spong and Peter Aerts, it would be an immense accomplishment to win. And Overeem did just that, taking home the coveted world title.
With his recent foray into kickboxing many MMA purists wondered if the Dutch giant had found another love. Overeem says that's not the case.
"My main passion is MMA," Overeem said while appearing on The MMA Fight Corner presented by FiveKnuckles.com. "I've done more MMA bouts than K-1, but I do like K-1. It did perfect my striking, but I would have to say MMA. I like MMA just a tad more, that's why I did some K-1 fights earlier in my career but then I chose MMA."
In order to reach such a high level of kickboxing talent, Overeem has had to train with the best. Luckily in his own backyard sits Golden Glory, a collection of some of the top strikers in the world. Overeem trains with legends like Semmy Schilt and Gokhan Saki almost daily while he hones his striking prowess.
You may have noticed that Overeem and Saki also met during the K-1 Grand Prix last year. Unlike so many fighters in MMA today, Overeem doesn't have any reservations about fighting against teammates. The tournament format prevalent in kickboxing helped shape that mentality and has made the prospect of fighting a teammate, like Sergei Kharitonov, nothing more than another paycheck.
"For me it's a pay day," Overeem said. "I mean, you're in the gym fighting each other, hurting each other and then you're in the cage fighting for money. For me, I mean, it's your job, why not? There has to be a big demand for the fight though, I wouldn't go out and challenge any teammate. But if it would be in a tournament style or a championship bout, I see no reason at all to not take the fight."
Overeem is currently holding down a spot in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix. The tournament features the best heavyweights currently competing under the Strikeforce label including Overeem, Antonio Silva, Josh Barnett and Overeem's next opponent, Fabricio Werdum.
Overeem and Werdum are slated to square off on June 18 in Dallas, Texas. Werdum is a ridiculously accomplished grappler with one of the best resumes in all of mixed martial arts. The two met once already in 2006, a bout that Werdum won via submission. Overeem though, has changed drastically since then.
"Fabricio Werdum is a very good grappler, maybe the best grapper in MMA to date at this time,"...