Alistair Overeem Trainer Mike Passenier on Having Friends and Being a Fighter

Within the UFC we often see fighters run into problems because the UFC wants them to fight a “friend” of theirs and they don’t want to have to do that. This isn’t just a UFC-exclusive thing, but happens in all forms of fighting, and let’s be honest here, fighting is brutal and you probably don’t want to brutalize your friends. Alistair Overeem’s latest coach, Mike Passenier (who has trained some of the greats in Kickboxing, look him up) spoke in a recent interview about this whole “friends” thing and how he thinks as a fighter you need to be careful about that.

“We can say ‘hi’ but I don’t want to your friend because then I can’t fight against you. And if I can’t fight against you then it costs money. And if I don’t bring money home I can’t feed my children and that’s a problem. Because a man is supposed to feed his children and support his family. And if you are too friendly to each other you cannot give a good fight. Well, if you look at the K-1 MAX fight between [my guys] Murthel Groenhart and Arthur Kyshenko, there you have a rare example of two guys who can be friends and beat each others’ heads in. But most of the time its ‘Oh I don’t want to fight him. He’s my friend, I talk to him on Facebook, I was playing with his children’, you know? Don’t get soft man. Stay on point. Just give the audience what they deserve, a good fight. It’s not about one friend saving another friend’s life.”