UFC Heavyweight contender and former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem has won 19 of his 42 MMA fights via submission. Still, he will not accept a BJJ black belt…at least not yet.
The ‘Reem — who was promoted to blue belt a couple of months ago — spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour today, and explained why he will not let anyone wrap the coveted BJJ black belt around his waist, despite there instructors willing to do it:
Jiu-jitsu’s also about structure. It’s about humble…being humble, and that’s also the thing that I like about it. I train at Gracie Barra and at the Valente Brothers. Both magnificent gyms. I have a great development with these people over there. And yeah, it’s about being humble. It’s about starting on the bottom of the ladder, and progressing…and the thing is, of course there’s going to be jiu-jitsu guys who want to give me a black belt, but then, I didn’t earn it. I got it because who I am…and yeah, I don’t like that. I like to deserve things. I like to work hard for things.
Alistair may not want a black belt yet, but later this week he is going to have to deal with one when he takes on second-degree black belt and former UFC Heavyweight Champion Fabricio Werdum at UFC 213, set to go down on July 8 from the T-Mobile Arena in Nevada.
You can watch Alistair Overeem’s interview on The MMA Hour below. He starts talking about Brazilian jiu-jitsu at 12:20.