Alistair Overeem. File Photo.
MANILA, Philippines – UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem is campaigning for a shot at former champion Junior "Cigano" Dos Santos in an effort to propel himself back into the title picture in the weight division.
"The personal choice, if I'm honest, is Junior Dos Santos," Overeem told fans at the SM Megamall Event Center Sunday when asked about who he will fight next.
"He's not booked for a fight, I'm not booked for a fight. I will probably hear about this in the next two weeks, but logic suggests he's the next opponent," he explained.
Overeem later told ABS-CBNnews.com that a showdown between himself and Dos Santos "makes sense."
"There's nobody else that makes sense," he said. "I'm just gonna wait to see what the UFC is gonna do, but for me, I don't see anybody else out there."
Dos Santos is a former UFC heavyweight champion, having beaten reigning champion Cain Velasquez at UFC on FOX in November 2011. He has since lost two subsequent rematches to the Mexican fighter.
Beating the Brazilian Dos Santos will go a long way towards establishing Overeem as a true contender.
"JDS is the gate-keeper," Overeem pointed out, using Dos Santos's initials. "That's what everybody knows."
Overeem and Dos Santos have been scheduled to fight twice previously. The Dutch kickboxer was supposed to challenge the then-champion Dos Santos in May 2012, but Overeem was removed from the fight when it was revealed that he failed a pre-fight drug test.
They were supposed to fight again in May 2013, but Overeem had to withdraw from the bout due to an injury.
He hopes that he will finally get to face the Brazilian this time around as he makes a push for the championship.
"UFC is the last mountain to climb," Overeem said Monday during an appearance on ANC. "It's the biggest promotion, it's the best promotion, it's the baddest promotion."
"The top heavyweights are there, and for me, that would be the crown to my career. My sights have been set on the UFC belt, and we will not stop. We will get it or die trying," he declared.