Alistair Overeem believes past meetings with Fabricio Werdum will have little impact on their UFC 213 fight this weekend.
The veteran fighters will face off in the octagon for the third time in their careers in the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday in Nevada.
The pair first met in 2006 under the PRIDE label, with Werdum winning by submission. Overeem had to wait five years for his revenge, earning a unanimous decision victory, this time under the Strikeforce banner.
Now, the stage is set for a tiebreaker.
“You study, but those fights happened a long time ago,” the Brit told MMA Junkie.
“Fabricio has done a remarkable job of improving himself since the first and the second fight. He’s constantly improving. That’s something you have to respect, like it or not.
“But, at the same time, we’re improving as well. I think analyzing is part of it, but also, self-improvement is part of it. You’ve got to keep working yourself.
“The funny thing is that in our previous fight, I outgrappled him, but he outstruck me. I did fight more dominantly than him, so it became a fight over dominance. I scored a lot of takedowns, so we’ll see what happens.”
First Faceoff with Fabricio Werdum for our trilogy fight, next week Saturday – Juli 8 @UFC Vegas. Never have I fought anyone for the third time.. Werdum is an excellent opponent who's has endured, survived and triumphed many setbacks during his career by always coming back stronger. Likewise my career is full of similar ups and downs. What will the third fight bring? 9 days.. and we'll know ?? #Respect #Prideneverdies
Overeem also revealed his plans should he defeat Werdum. Despite beating no less than six former UFC heavyweight champions, none of the victories were title fights.
This time, Overeem believes a victory would earn him a second title shot against current champion Stipe Miocic, who defeated him in September.
“After I get my hand raised, I’m going to grab that mic, and I’m going to challenge Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight championship belt,” added the 37-year-old.