The fight is being billed as fight between teammates, but Overeem told explained to Fox Sports that the two definitely aren’t friends and even ‘teammates’ is a loose association:
“It’s a very simple and basic story,” Overeem explained when speaking to FOX Sports on Wednesday from Holland. “Lorenzo (Fertitta) texted me, he said ‘we want you to headline the first ever UFC in Holland and who do you want to fight? Basically we have Andrei Arlovski and Cain Velasquez available but Cain Velasquez is injured so in all probability it will be Andrei Arlovski.
“I replied OK that’s fine. Andrei’s a teammate but we’re not really friends, we don’t hang out, we hardly train together so expect that fight to be fireworks. So the fight got made.”
Arlovski has made it clear in numerous interviews after the fight was made that he never considered Overeem a friend and barely thought of him as a training partner despite both of them fighting under one roof.
For his part, Overeem says the exact same thing about Arlovski but promises this isn’t anything personal against the former UFC heavyweight champion.
It was the fight that he was offered so Overeem accepted — nothing more, nothing less.
“I didn’t know him that well. I know he’s pretty emotional, but other than that I don’t know that much,” Overeem said. “We trained a couple of times together and he is how he is. He’s not my cup of tea. It’s not that I hate him, it’s not that we’re enemies but we don’t train together.