PRE-OWGP 2006 OPENING ROUND INTERVIEWS WITH ALISTAIR OVEREEM AND FABRICIO WERDUM
05/04/2006

Alistair Overeem: My condition is good, as usual. I weigh 101kg, so my weight isn't so different from last time. The fight with Kharitonov was a very good fight. I watched the fight on video again. I thought it was a good fight and I'm satisfied with it. I didn't get any injuries and I was able to finish the fight. I'm more of an all-round technician than the Heavyweight fighters and I'm faster than they are. I think I have advantages over the Heavyweight fighters in those two areas.

Fabricio is an excellent ground fighter but I'm going to win in the end. And after I beat Fabricio in this fight, I want to fight Mirko. I think jujitsu fighters are easier to fight. I plan on standing and fighting the whole time in this fight. The guillotine? (laughing) I'll do my best.
Since my opponent is Fabricio this time, I trained my striking of course, but I put extra emphasis on my ground training. Remy Bonjasky is training at Calvin's gym right now so we are training together. Special training? Yes, I have a special sparring partner but I can't so who right now. (laughing). That is a surprise, so I will tell everyone after the fight.
I'm really prepared this time. I'm confident that I will win. A Champion proves himself when he fights. I'll fight this fight with the same feelings that I always do but I feel that I'm the closest to being a Champion that I've ever been. Last time I gave the Osaka fans a win over Vitor by submission, and this time I want to give them a win by KO.

 

   

 

Fabricio Werdum: My condition is really good. The fight with Einemo was good but this one will be better. I'm satisfied with the fight with Einemo because I won. I'm able to compete in this Grand Prix because I won that fight. However, I do regret not being able to finish the fight by KO or submission, even though that's what I'm always aiming for.

I went to Croatia for a while after the last fight finished, and then I went to Spain. I spoke with Mirko after that and since I needed to practice jujitsu for this fight, I went to Brazil. I trained with my coach, Marcio Corleta, who has been teaching me since 1998. He won the Mundial (Brazilian Jujitsu World Championships) in 2001.
Jujitsu will have an important role in this fight with Alistair because although he was originally a striker, he's been training jujitsu a lot recently. Many people have been done in by his guillotine. Ground fighting won't be a problem though, no matter how much he tries to strengthen his jujitsu. His jujitsu level? Wellabout a blue belt, I guess.
If you get completely caught in a guillotine, you won't be able to escape. Alistair's arms are particular big and strong, so it would be impossible for even me to escape if I was caught in his guillotine. I trained very well in preparation for that, though. He won't catch me. I've been training for his knee-kick to guillotine pattern.
If it becomes a jujitsu fight, I will win by submission. If I have the chance though, I'd like to knock him out. Everyone would be surprised if I won by KO and Alistair probably expects me to take the fight to the ground, too. He'd probably be surprised if I traded strikes with him. It's an important fight so winning is the most important thing, though. If I can't be the Champion, I don't care about being #2 or #3.