Alistair Overeem earned a brutal knockout victory at UFC 209 after clobbering Mark Hunt with a series of knee strikes to the head.
Overeem wasn’t just battling the “Super Samoan” at the show, but a bout with food poisoning as well.
“He’s been in the hospital for 24 hours with food poisoning,” White said at the UFC 209’s post-fight news conference. “(He was) throwing up and all the other pleasantries of food poisoning for 24 hours. He was in the hospital, we brought him home, and then we had to bring him back to the hospital. They had to fill him with bags of fluids and IVs, and at one point he was afraid to leave his room because he couldn’t stop throwing up and everything else. He did not want to turn down the fight, still came out and fought tonight and knocked out Mark Hunt. More to his credit, didn’t say one word about it in his interview and obviously hadn’t said it here, yet. I just came in to thank him and tell him how much I respect him.”
It was the first fight for Overeem since losing a title bout to UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic at UFC 203. Although IV’s are banned by USADA, Overeem made sure to go through the proper channels to get one during his time in the hospital.
“We went through all the steps necessary,” Overeem said. “I got really sick and yesterday at the weigh-ins I was out. I was low-energy. I put on my acting face, but I had like zero energy. If I felt today as I felt yesterday I would not have been able to perform. I went to the hospital, got an IV, took something to help me sleep. I could get some food in yesterday before sleeping and recovered kind of OK.”
The heavyweight contender now holds two victories over Hunt.