While nothing is yet official, Alistair Overeem's debut in the Octagon appears closer than ever before. According to reports from Swedish MMA outlet MMAnytt.se, the exiled Strikeforce heavyweight champion traveled to Las Vegas on Monday to sign an exclusive deal with the UFC.
Per traditional UFC restrictions, Overeem's contract reportedly forbids the Dutch kickboxer from competing in outside organizations, thus signaling an end to his memorable 12-year K-1 career. Last year the 31-year-old made combat sports history as the only man to simultaneously hold world titles in mixed martial arts and K-1 after maintaining the Strikeforce belt and winning the K-1 2010 World Grand Prix.
News of negotiations between the UFC and Overeem began making the rounds in late August, as UFC President Dana White revealed the discussions to Dan Le Batard while on ESPN 790 in Miami. According to White, Overeem's management at Team Golden Glory finally acquiesced to the UFC's insistence on a change in their payment model, the primary source of incongruity between the two sides.
Overeem (35-11) is undefeated in his last eleven fights stretching back to 2008, with ten recorded wins in that time. He last fought in the quarterfinals of Strikeforce's Heavyweight Grand Prix, defeating Fabricio Werdum via unanimous decision.