UFC star Alistair Overeem desperate to win heavyweight title before retirement

Alistair Overeem is still hell-bent on winning the UFC’s heavyweight title before he hangs up his gloves.

Fan favourite Overeem returns to the octagon early on Sunday morning in the main event of UFC on ESPN 7 in Washington, DC, where he’ll lock horns with the undefeated Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

The Dutchman is on the cusp of landing a second crack at the heavyweight crown following back-to-back first-round TKO victories over Sergei Pavlovich and Alexey Oleinik.

And the 39-year-old hopes to secure another shot at the 265lb title with an impressive win over the heavy-handed Rozenstruik.

“I have my own goals – of course: UFC gold,” Overeem said. “To win the title would be a great close on my career.”

Overeem came up short in his bid to win the heavyweight title in September 2016, suffering a first-round TKO loss to reigning champion Stipe Miocic.

Defeat to Miocic lit a fire under the former Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight champion, who said: “What motivates me is I love to train.

“I love to improve. I have my own goals, of course — UFC gold. To win the title would be a great close on my career.”

Despite being in the twilight of his hall-of-fame career, Overeem’s passion for mixed martial arts is the highest it’s ever been.

He said: “My career, in particular, has been a long adventure. I think I was built for it. I’ve been all over the world.

“I’ve fought in 89 fights, kickboxing and MMA. I’m just doing my thing. I’m following my passion. It’s been a great adventure and I’m still going strong.”

Rozenstruik, 31, enters his first main event bout on the back of a devastating 29-second knockout victory over former heavyweight king Andrei Arlovski.

The Suriname slugger has the utmost respect for Overeem but doesn’t plan on showing him any after the cage door closes.

“He’s in my division and I think this my division,” Rozenstruik said. “So anyone who stands in front of me has to go.”

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