Alistair Overeem prefers fighting in a ring, but recognizes that cages are a "fact" of the game.  On today's Strikeforce conference call, Overeem talked about that and much more.  He'll be taking on Fabricio Werdum in the Strikeforce HW Grand Prix on June 18th.  The fight will be fought in a cage, of course, but Overeem is prepared for it:

 

I like the idea of a ring, but I think a cage is more safe.  You can’t fall out of it.  Basically I trained a lot of stuff the past five years.  The whole way to prepare for a fight.  Did I train in a cage?  I think a cage is one fact of MMA today.  I think everybody who is professional needs to keep his surroundings in consideration.  You need to work with it.  You need to use it to your advantage.  So yes, I’ve been training differently now than five years ago.

 

Overeem wants to make a statement in this Grand Prix.  He's putting the heavyweight division on notice.

 

This Grand Prix has the opportunity to show not only the fan in the U.S., but fans to the fans all over the world that I’m the number one.  And the number one you don’t become by beating no names.  You have to beat the names.  And I think this tournament holds very good names, experienced names.  It holds all sorts of names.  But I believe that every fighter in the tournament is good, experienced, and you got to beat the best to become the best.

 

Alistair is in a tough tournament bracket, but he doesn't mind.  In fact he welcomes the challenge:

 

I like the challenges that lie in front of me.  You know, you’re going to face the strongest guy anyway.  And I never complain about a fight.  I’m a fighter, I love to fight. It’s what I do for a living.  I’ve trained very hard for this fight, as will I do for my next fight.   I’m just ready.  I’m ready to go.  I was ready three weeks ago.

 

Overeem is prepared physically and has his strategy mapped out:

 

Always I sit down with the team and look at an opponent.  I look at their strong points, I look at the weak points.  Well  make a training schedule.  A plan, a backup plan and a backup, backup plan.  We’ve been doing that for the past four years.  We’ve become more proficient at it all the time.  How do you get ready?  Basically I focus on myself.  I don’t really worry about how the other people are training.  Of course everybody has a growth factor which you have to consider.  But I’m always focused on myself.   Just get myself into good shape.  Don’t get over trained--because that was one of the factors in a previous loss.  Just get into top shape, stay in top shape.  Because obviously my training is now done, just maintaining.  Yeah.  Stay happy, stay motivated, stay healthy.

 

Is he motivated?

 

I have a lot of motivation, believe me.  But I’m just happy.  I’m happy this fight is happening.  I’ve wanted to fight Fabricio, then the tournament came around, he beat Fedor…for me an excellent opportunity to fight him.  I’m motivated.  You’re going to see that next week Saturday how motivated I am.  Yeah, I’m motivated.  I’m motivated!

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