When Alistair Overeem signed on the dotted line with the UFC, he basically gave up all his extra-curricular activities, including his very successful kickboxing career. And this just after he became the K-1 World Grand Prix champion, too! How’d the UFC ever convince him to give up that lucrative position? Well, it helps that K-1 never paid him:
“They didn’t pay me,” Overeem said. “It’s a lot of money, I can tell you that.”
Overeem said he expects to take legal action against FEG, the parent company of K-1, but he’s skeptical that he’ll ever collect what he’s owed.
“We’re on the verge of starting up legal action, but Japan is a hard environment to move. You have the language barrier, you have the culture barrier. Are we expecting something from it? It’s hard to say. I actually think it’s going to be really hard. FEG has a lot of outstanding liabilities, a lot of unpaid bills, so maybe mine is just going to be put underneath the stack of the other bills. They have a lot of debt.”
Overeem said he feels even worse for Peter Aerts, whom Overeem knocked out to win the K-1 World Grand Prix, and who didn’t get paid anything.
“You get your ass kicked and you don’t get paid? That’s just a shame,” Overeem said.
It seems silly to me that such a cut and dry case of ‘Fuck you, pay me’ would still be difficult to win in Japan. Sure, Overeem ain’t lying when he says it’s a difficult environment to move around in. But we’re not talking about directing a cab to that sketchy sex club in Shibuya, or trying not to accidentally order fish anus in some restaurant. This is the country’s legal system. Can they really pull an “Ah so? Solly, no can herp you!” at the courthouse?
How about Japanese lawyers who also speak engrish? I can just imagine how that would go. “Mr Demolition-sama, our ancestors are great respect to prease your honor in such matters. Who owe you big America dollars? Oh, Yakuza backed K-1? Mmmmmmm solly, no can herp you!”
The only hope Alistair has is that the supposed new owners of K-1 aren’t the scumbags the former owners were. And since he’s now signed with the UFC and only the UFC, I have my doubts that they’re going to be in any rush to sort out his back payments.