Alistair Overeem scored a chilling knockout victory over Mark Hunt on Saturday night at UFC 209, wrecking the kiwi veteran with a pair of savage knees and a follow-up punch that was probably unnecessary. The normally durable Hunt was left laying flat on his face one minute and 44 seconds into the third round.
It was an impressive performance from the Dutchman, which became even more so following a revelation from UFC president Dana White at the post-fight press conference.
“Did you know he was sick?” White asked members of the media. “He’s been in the hospital for 24 hours with food poisoning. (He was) throwing up and all the other pleasantries of food poisoning for 24 hours. 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(Transcription via MMAJunkie).
“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.”
Overeem himself also provided some details of what he had gone through over the previous couple of days.
“I got really sick and yesterday at the weigh-ins I was out,” said the fighter. “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.”
The United States Anti-Doping Agency actually brought in a ban on the use of IV re-hydration back in October of 2015, much to the chagrin of most of the fighters on the UFC roster. With few men in the UFC forced to cut weight in order to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit, though, the big boys didn’t have to worry too much.
However, situations like Overeem’s can become more complex due to the ban. The former Strikeforce heavyweight champion assured the media, though, that he had followed all of the correct procedures in order to avoid an infringement.
Overeem’s win over Hunt was his fifth in six fights, with his only loss during that run coming to UFC heavyweight kingpin Stipe Miocic. Miocic stopped Overeem with a little over thirty seconds remaining in the opening round of their bout back at UFC 203 last September, but not before the Jackson-Wink fighter came close to ripping the title from him.
Overeem told The Buzzer that he would like to fight the winner of the UFC 211 heavyweight title fight between Miocic vs Junior dos Santos next, but he also showed interest in tussling with up and comers Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis.
Food poisoning. pic.twitter.com/MuDO6kRLeu
— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) March 5, 2017