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Overeem 'rebuilding himself' ahead of UFC return

ESPN staff
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Alistair Overeem is in great shape, according to Glenn Robinson © Getty Images
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Alistair Overeem is itching to get back into the Octagon and will return to action a different fighter, according to his manager.

The former Strikeforce champion had been due to fight UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos in May but was denied a fight licence after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone in March - he will be eligible to reapply for a licence later this year.

It had been suggested that Overeem would be handed a title bout against Dos Santos on his return, but the Brazilian has since been handed a rematch against former belt holder Cain Velasquez in December.

But Overeem's manager Glenn Robinson says his charge is dedicating himself to training and will take on anybody who is put in front of him.

"First of all, he would have loved to have had the opportunity to fight for the title, but Alistair is a fighter, and as a fighter he will fight whoever they put in front of him," Robinson MMAWeekly Radio.

"Reality is, he's training extraordinarily hard, and whoever gets in front of him is going to meet a completely different Alistair. This guy is just dedicated to rebuilding and rededicating himself.

"He's in great shape. He's in better shape now than when he joined us. He's strong; his cardio is crazy. He's training with pro football players, a whole team of pro football players. We ran out of people large enough to fend him off, so we put him with a whole pro football team to do cardio. All that's going to happen is whoever does face him is in a lot of trouble."

With Overeem eligible to reapply for a licence on December 27, Robinson says the heavyweight will be ready to fight immediately after being given the green light to return to the Octagon.

"He wants to come back as soon as he can. We have to wait until the Nevada State Athletic Commission can give him the licence, and he's doing everything he can to live by the letter of the law so that there's no issue with getting that licence when the time comes," Robinson said.

"He's going to be ready to fight the second that there's a fight. He's not going to need a camp, because he's never left camp. The day that he's allowed to be licensed, if they want him to fight the next day, he'll be ready."

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