Alistair Overeem knows he would probably be knocking on the door of title contention right now if not for the result in his fight against Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
On that night in December 2019 at UFC on ESPN 7, Overeem had won all four rounds on every judges’ scorecard before Rozenstruik mounted a comeback in the closing seconds of the final round. Rozenstruik floored Overeem with a punch that ultimately split his lip in two and the fight was stopped with Rozenstruik being declared the winner with just three seconds remaining.
That’s one of many reasons why the former Strikeforce and K-1 Grand Prix champion is open to the idea of running back that matchup following his win Saturday over Augusto Sakai at UFC Vegas 9.
“Rozenstruik, I destroyed that man,” Overeem said at the UFC Vegas 9 post-fight press conference. “I schooled him. In my opinion, it was a very bad decision by the ref. Waving it off with zero seconds left.
“I have no problem running that back. In my mind, I already beat him. It’s only on paper that he kind of got it and he knows it, too. No problem running that back.”
The win against Overeem propelled Rozenstruik into a title eliminator against Francis Ngannou earlier this year. Unfortunately for Rozenstruik, he suffered a knockout loss before bouncing back with a win over former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos at UFC 252.
Meanwhile, Overeem has gone 4-1 in his past five fights with the loss to Rozenstruik as the only blemish on his record.
The 40-year-old heavyweight has made it a point that as he looks towards the end of his career that another run at the UFC title is what matters most to him. If not for that setback against Rozenstruik this past December, Overeem is confident he’d already be in contention for another shot at UFC gold.
As it stands, however, Overeem understands that it might take him another win before entering that conversation.
“If it was not for the Rozenstruik debacle, judging debacle, I would already be there now,” Overeem said. “But I think I’ll need another win. It also depends on the other landscape but another win.”
Right now, reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is likely awaiting an eventual showdown with Ngannou for his next title defense. Overeem plans on sticking around long enough to get another win or two if that’s what it takes to finally get another opportunity to add a UFC title to his Hall of Fame resume.
“I’ve not decided it yet,” Overeem said about how much time he has left in his career. “We’re going to just see how it goes. I’m still loving it. I’m still improving. I still feel I can do it. We just need to see it case by case.
“Probably one or two more years, maybe three. We’ll see.”