Alistair Overeem is returning to the sport of kickboxing.
The former UFC heavyweight title contender has inked a multi-fight deal with GLORY Kickboxing where he is expected to make his return to the ring later this year.
Sources close to the situation confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Tuesday following an initial report from ESPN.
“We are extremely excited for Alistair Overeem to join GLORY,” GLORY chairman Pierre Andurand said in a statement. “Alistair is one of the most well-rounded and decorated heavyweight fighters of all time. Today marks a historic day for the sport, and most importantly for GLORY fans, with upcoming exciting fights that everyone will want to see.”
At one time, Overeem was considered the best kickboxer in the world while he was competing in K-1 where he faced a laundry list of legends including Peter Aerts, Badr Hari and Gokhan Saki. In 2010, Overeem reached the pinnacle of the sport when he claimed the K-1 Grand Prix title with three wins in a single night including victories over Aerts, Saki and Tyrone Spong.
During this time, Overeem was still very active in his mixed martial arts career as he fought in numerous promotions including DREAM and Strikeforce.
It was following his K-1 Grand Prix victory that Overeem decided to put his full attention on MMA after returning to Strikeforce and then eventually joining the roster at the UFC.
Following a 10-year run with the promotion that included a heavyweight title shot in 2016, Overeem was released from his contract with the UFC earlier this year following a loss to Alexander Volkov. Afterwards there was speculation that Overeem might call it a career but now he’ll make his return to kickboxing instead.
“I’m back,” Overeem said in a press release.
GLORY is now considered the top kickboxing promotion in the world with a roster that includes heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven.
There’s no word yet when Overeem will make his GLORY debut but it’s expected that “The Demolition Man” will book a fight before the end of 2021.