It is a matter of he said…. he said, as former UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem and ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong have a difference of opinion as to how Overeem’s appearance at last weekend’s ONE Fight Night 6: Superbon vs. Allazov came to be.
Overeem denies reaching out to ONE Championship about competing in their upcoming openweight Muay Thai grand prix, and insisted that he was invited to watch their event in Bangkok last Saturday.
The famed heavyweight fighter wrote, “just to set the record straight…
I’m on a holiday in Thailand and was invited to an One FC event in Bangkok. As a fan of the sport, I always enjoy watching some good fights. Just as a visitor. Nothing more, nothing less.
So… for all the people who love to spread rumors; sorry guys 🙂 no gossip here. I’m dedicated to @glorykickboxing 🥊”
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Sityodtong has since said Overeem’s statement on Instagram was “complete BS”.
Last week, an anonymous source told the South China Morning Post that former UFC heavyweight MMA title challenger Overeem (47-19), who now competes in Glory Kickboxing, had contacted ONE officials last week about fighting in their 16-man tournament, which will kick off in March with a US$1 million prize up for grabs for the winner.
“It’s funny because he did reach out to ONE,” Chatri told the Post.
“We did not invite him, we had no idea he was in Bangkok. I know that he put on social media refuting that he had reached out, but it’s complete BS. We had no idea he was in Thailand.
“He reached out to Ric Auty [senior director of competition] to be very specific, and then they asked me should we let Overeem come. I said sure, so that’s how it happened.
“I don’t mean to make Alistair look bad, but no Alistair, we did not invite you. I’m only reacting to the social media post. We did not invite him.”
The 42-year-old Dutchman then sat cageside next to Sityodtong for the January 14 event at Impact Arena.
Then according to the report from the Post, “Chatri, however, claimed Overeem told him “point blank” at cageside that his deal with Glory was non-exclusive.
“I don’t want to call out anyone for speaking half truths or anything,” he added. “So I have no idea. We did talk about it briefly, but we were watching the fights mostly.
“Look, I have a lot of love and respect for Alistair and everything he has done for the sport. I’m actually a huge fan – I’ve watched him since the K-1 [kickboxing] days and all that stuff, and the grands prix when he was in Japan, so a lot of respect.
“But I was a little bit … for him to say we invited him, no we didn’t, we had no idea he was even in Thailand.”
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