CoveringTheCage

UFC's Overeem avoids jail time on battery charge


Ultimate Fighting Championship star Alistair Overeem views his punishment for a January misdemeanor battery charge as a lesson learned about living life as a celebrity in America.

The 31-year-old Dutch fighter was sentenced Tuesday to 50 hours of community service and to undergo anger-management counseling as a result of the charge stemming from an incident outside a Las Vegas nightclub on New Year's weekend.

Overeem was accused of shoving a woman in the early-morning hours of Jan. 2 at Wynn Resort, causing her to "stagger back," according to a citation issued by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. The incident occurred a few days after Overeem's UFC debut, a first-round knockout of Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 on Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden.

Overeem said he was "very relieved" to have the situation behind him and noted the entire experience was a valuable lesson in dealing with the spotlight.

"Being famous in the States is definitely different than being famous in Holland or anywhere else, and it comes with a lot of advantages and some disadvantages. You need to learn how to deal with it," said Overeem, who is now employing a security detail. "In Holland, I can just go to the grocery store and buy my eggs and milk, and here you might be under attack. Some situation may come up and you're drawn into it and suddenly it's world news.

"We don't have that in Holland."

Overeem, who will fight Junior dos Santos for the organization's heavyweight title at UFC 146 on May 26 at the MGM Grand Garden, also received a suspended 90-day jail sentence.

Overeem waived his right to a trial and did not appear in court Tuesday. Instead, a deal between his attorney, David Chesnoff, and the district attorney's office was presented to judge Diana Sullivan whereby the matter will be dismissed provided the conditions are fulfilled. Overeem is due back in court Sept. 26.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.