Alistair Overeem on controversial UFC 203 interview: ‘He put me on the spot’

It was one of MMA’s most controversial verbal exchanges in 2016.

Right after suffering a brutal knockout loss to Stipe Miocic in the main event of UFC 203, Overeem was interviewed in the middle of the Octagon by UFC color commentator Joe Rogan.

Overeem, who was clearly still shaking off the cobwebs, claimed Miocic tapped to a guillotine choke earlier in what had been a memorable, back-and-forth one-round battle.

Replays showed Miocic didn’t tap, and Overeem was booed by the crowd in Miocic’s hometown of Cleveland as commentator Rogan aggressively countered his claims.

The entire scenario led many to question whether the UFC should continue the practice of interviewing fighters in the arena immediately who have just suffered knockout losses.

“Joe Rogan put me on the spot,” Overeem said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. “My coaches were the ones that addressed the issue with me, they were like ‘Alistair, he tapped,’ and I told them ‘listen guys, are you actually 100 percent sure, and they told me we’re 100 percent sure, that’s why I picked it up, because of them. Rogan jumped up on it, and I saw he was like ‘I got you.’ He had me on that one, but it’s all good.”

It’s been three months since that memorable evening, and the veteran Overeem has done his best to pick up the pieces and move on. In looking back on the fight, Overeem is quite gracious in crediting Miocic for getting the job done.

“We came very close in the guillotine, he did an excellent job escaping guillotine and pressing that fight after that,” Overeem said. “The other thing was, it was over so quick I didn’t really have any damages. Two right shots, right on the jaw. He has a great right hand. It was already over. I was not gassed, I wasn’t tired, I didn’t have any damage. So kudos to Stipe Miocic, he’s a champion for a reason, he’s very strong very accurate, like I said before, and he took me out.”

Since then, Overeem, who has won Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight gold over the course of his mixed martial arts career, has done his best to move on and get his head back together as he prepares for another run.

“I always look ahead,” Overeem said. “Because if you keep worrying about the past and about what, that just makes you an unhappy guy and I choose to be a happy guy, you gotta look at it, you gotta think about positive things, you gotta create positive things and do positive things, so that’s basically what I’ve been up to lately.”

As for who might make for an interesting choice in next opponent, the Holland native said he didn’t really have any preferences. But then he went on to rattle off a bunch of names of fighters whom he’s fought in the past.

“I have no idea,” Overeem said. “There’s a bunch of top 10 guys not booked. I believe at this level it doesn’t really matter, the top 10 guys, top five guys, it’s all good. … I don’t have beef with anybody but after that first fight with [Fabricio] Werdum, that could be something interesting. [Ben] Rothwell could be nice, right. I lost two and a half years ago Other than that, Bigfoot [Silva] is a fight I would like to avenge, but he’s not with UFC any longer. Maybe Travis [Browne] is a fight I could avenge. That’s just a fight I thought should have been in my favor. I know I’m better that this guy.”

That will all sort itself out. In the meantime, Overeem, the decorated former kickboxer, will serve as a color commentator for Saturday’s highly anticipated Glory dream matchup in Germany between heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven and hard-hitting Badr Hari.

“I’ve been asked to be a commentator for the show,” Overeem said. “This is going to be my second time commentating fights, I did it once before … sometime a couple years ago. I liked at, and Glory thought it would be nice if I joined the commentary crew, so that’s what I’ll be doing. This Saturday, I was already going to attend the fight, it’s a very big kickboxing matchup.”

It’s clear this matchup has brought out the fan in “The Reem.”

“You have the champion Rico Verhoeven, who has been the champ three and a half years undefeated. And he’s fighting Badi Hari who was the Bad Boy of K-1. … he never won the Grand Prix, but he basically defeated everyone, all the top guys at one point. He’s one of the most dangerous fighters, so it’s a champion between the new kid on the block and the old, dangerous legend.”


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10 of the Most Amazing Gyms in the US

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Despite all the time we spend at the gym, few of us would rave about the aesthetics. And that’s fine—we’re there to get our sweat on, not debate the pros and cons of neoclassical architecture while we’re swinging kettlebells. Still, there’s something to be said for fitness centers that aim to be as beautiful as they are functional, like the 10 spots shown here. After all, it’s easier to get excited about your gym workout when your gym looks more like a luxe oasis than a barebones high-school weight room.

Life Time Athletic in Boca Raton, FL

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Beyond the indoor and outdoor pools, full-service spa, and health-food café, the beautiful Life Time Athletic gym in Boca Raton, FL, offers basketball and squash courts, fitness studios (for pilates or indoor biking classes) and so much equipment that you’ll never have to wait for a machine.

David Barton Gym at the Limelight, New York, NY

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Since the first one opened in 1992, DavidBartonGyms have tried to set themselves apart from the traditional fitness center. And one way they do that is by settling into unexpected—and breathtaking—spaces. The latest locale is a renovated church-turned-drug rehab center-turned-nightclub. It features dramatic stonework and eye-catching stained glass windows, plus your usual ellipticals, treadmills, and dumbbells.

PHOTO: DAVIDBARTONGYM

San Francisco CrossFit in San Francisco, CA

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Located underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and with an open-air setup, the stunning San Francisco CrossFit was one of the first CrossFit gyms in the world. It offers running, gymnastics, and kids’ programs in addition to the usual train-like-a-caveman plans.

PHOTO: VANCE JACOBS PHOTOGRAPHY

Stone Summit Climbing Gym and Fitness Center in Atlanta, GA

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One of the largest climbing gyms in the U.S., Stone Summit has brightly-colored walls reaching 60 feet that are suitable for beginners and advanced climbers alike, plus a bouldering room and group fitness classes. (Add this to the list of the 12 Places to Go Rock Climbing Before You Die.)

PHOTO: STONE SUMMIT

The Bellevue Club in Bellevue, WA

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We admit, this isn’t your standard gym. The Bellevue Club is an athletic and social club in a suburb of Seattle, and in addition to the top-tier restaurants and luxurious hotel, the 200,000 square feet of athletic facilities are a main draw. Whether you’re swimming laps in the stunning pool or taking advantage of all the latest gear (including TRX and Kinesis systems), the gorgeous surroundings will have you doing double takes all day.

PHOTO: BELLEVUE CLUB

MV Fitness Athletic Club in Baltimore, MD

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“Elegant” probably isn’t a word used to describe most gyms—but then, most gyms aren’t outfitted with crystal chandeliers, Tiffany skylight windows, original hardwood floors, marble mantles, and local artwork, like the MV Fitness Athletic Club is.

The Mercedes Club in New York, NY

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This 80,000 square-foot fitness center boasts a full-service spa, totally tricked-out locker rooms, and an indoor lap pool for swimming. With plenty of windows to let in the sun and a clean, modern aesthetic, you’ll never want to leave the luxurious space.

Larry North Fitness at Cityplace in Dallas, TX

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This gym is located in the second and third floors of the beautiful Tower at Cityplace in Dallas. If you can, try to snag an elliptical or treadmill by the window on the third-floor cardio area. You’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of downtown. (These 12 Hotel Gyms with Killer Views offer some breathtaking vistas, too.)

PHOTO: STEVAN KOYE

Health Spa Napa Valley in St. Helena, CA

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The fitness center at the Health Spa Napa Valley is state of the art, featuring the latest LifeFitness equipment, flat-screen TVs, and a group fitness studio. (Before you visit, learn What Your Trainer’s Not Telling You.) But even without all that, the heated outdoor lap pool alone—with its view of the vine-dotted main building—makes a membership worth it.

The Houstonian Hotel, Club, and Spa in Houston, TX

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When it comes to getting their sweat on, members of the elegant, historical Houstonian don’t have to “settle” for the 300 cardio and strength-training machines in the state-of-the-art fitness center, the indoor and outdoor tennis and racquetball courts, or the four gorgeous pools. They can also join the cycling team, running club, or any of the specialty classes offered.

Cardio Training: 5 Tips to Push Through a Plateau

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At some point in any weight loss or cardio training journey, there will be a plateau. This plateau is a specific period of time where there is no change, either no fat loss or no improvement in cardio training. This is the body’s natural reaction to diet or fitness. The body will do everything possible to maintain homeostasis, which is what may be experienced as a plateau. The answer is change. Confusing the body through constant change in cardio training can end a plateau. Here are 5 training tips to push through a plateau:

1. Include Strength Training

Strength training increases lean mass, boosts metabolism and strengthens bones. By building muscle, strength training helps the body burn more calories. It is important to maintain the constant change even in strength training. Change the order of the exercises. Change the types of exercises. Change muscle groups that are exercised during the same workout. Change the number of sets. Change the amount of weight used. These changes will create muscle confusion and work the muscle groups in new ways.

2. Engage in the Right Cardio Training Program

A consistent, unchanging approach to training, like walking for 30 minutes everyday, will not yield long term results. Choosing a cardio training program with change built in pushes through a plateau. Interval training is a great solution. Instead of walking for 30 minutes at a consistent pace, an interval training approach would be walking for 30 minutes, changing speed and incline every 1 to 3 minutes.

Circuit training is another great cardio training program. Circuit training combines cardio training and strength training, rapidly switching from one exercise to the next. These rapid switches increase and maintain increased calorie burn for up to 48 hours after the workout.

3. Change the Cardio Training Program Every Four Weeks

In order to keep from dropping into another plateau, it is important to maintain change in the cardio training program. Changing cardio training, as well as strength training, every four weeks or so will keep calories burning.

4. Increase Intensity

Increasing intensity is one of the easiest ways to push through a plateau. Research has shown that short, high intensity workouts burn the most calories. Increasing intensity can be done by increasing speed or resistance. Try reducing resistance and workout at that level as rapidly as possible. For example, when walking, reduce incline from 10% to 5% and walk or run as fast as possible for as long as possible, then recover.

5. Try Something New

Step off the treadmill and try the stairmaster. Or switch between the stairmaster, elliptical and treadmill in 10 minute circuits. The point is to try something new. This works well for those who may not be fit enough to increase intensity too much. Merely changing activities, even if the intensity is the same, will work the body in a different way and yield results.

Try a new sport or a fitness class. The answer is change. When seeking constant change, anyone can push through a plateau.