Imagine getting food poisoning – the puking, the other stuff. And imagine fighting Mark Hunt. And imagine them together. At the UFC 209 post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White revealed that heavyweight Alistair Overeem had suffered from food poisoning the day prior to his successful fight vs. Mark Hunt.
“He’s been in the hospital for 24 hours with food poisoning. Throwing up and all the other pleasantries of food poisoning for 24 hours,” said White delicately, as transcribed by Mike Bohn and Ken Hathaway for MMAjunkie. “He was in the hospital, we brought him home, and then we had to bring him back to the hospital. They had to fill him with bags of fluids and IVs, and at one point he was afraid to leave his room because he couldn’t stop throwing up and everything else.
“He did not want to turn down the fight, still came out and fought tonight and knocked out Mark Hunt. More to his credit, didn’t say one word about it in his interview and obviously hadn’t said it here, yet. I just came in to thank him and tell him how much I respect him.”
Because of the role they can play in masking PED use, IVs are prohibited for UFC fighters, unless the athlete goes through proper channels.
“We went through all the steps necessary,” Overeem said. “I got really sick and yesterday at the weigh-ins I was out. I was low-energy. I put on my acting face, but I had like zero energy. If I felt today as I felt yesterday I would not have been able to perform. I went to the hospital, got an IV, took something to help me sleep. I could get some food in yesterday before sleeping and recovered kind of OK.”
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Bob Bennett further confirmed that ‘Reem did nothing wrong, and that he was safe to fight.
“There were no violations in according to what’s conducted on the [World Anti-Doping Agency] prohibited list,” said Bennett. “I did have one of my outstanding, and pardon my modesty, but he’s an outstanding doctor and ringside physician. He did go ahead and consult with the fighter, and he was fit and ready to go, which was evident by his performance tonight.”