Alistair Overeem had to battle a severe case of food poisoning on Friday and Saturday before he even got the chance to face Mark Hunt at UFC 209 but miraculously he not only stepped into the Octagon -- he landed a jaw dropping knockout in the third round.
Overeem finished Hunt with a vicious knee strike that sent the veteran heavyweight contender crashing face first on the canvas.
The win put Overeem back on track after he suffered a knockout loss of his own last September to heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.
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With a 5-1 record over his past six fights, Overeem is still ranked in the top five and could face any number of potential opponents in the heavyweight division but he has his sights set on three fighters in particular.
"I'm open to fighting Francis [Ngannou]. I'm open to fighting Derrick Lewis. I'm open to fighting the winner of JDS [Junior Dos Santos]-Stipe [Miocic] if JDS wins because that's a little more logical step to me but it needs to make sense. So we're going to wait and see what's going to be on the table," Overeem said at the UFC 209 post fight press conference.
"I'm just going to make sure not to take too much time off, get back in the gym and get better than I was yesterday."
Ngannou happened to appear at the press conference as well but UFC president Dana White hinted that he had other plans for the Frenchman, who is fresh off a knockout over former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski in his last fight.
Lewis is taking some time off following his stunning knockout win over Travis Browne in February while Dos Santos is scheduled to meet Miocic in the main event at UFC 211 in Dallas in May.
Overeem holds the last win over Dos Santos when he knocked out the former champion in the second round when they met in December 2015.
A win by Dos Santos against Miocic in May would certainly put Overeem near the top of the list of potential contenders, but he's still not sure who will walk out of that fight with the title around their waist.
"It's very tight. Stipe's doing great work ever since he lost from JDS he's been on a roll. He's finishing his opponents left and right, dominating them, but JDS is a tough cookie. He won their first fight so I don't know," Overeem said. "Two tremendous athletes, two tremendous warriors, I can only have respect for both from what they've shown in the Octagon.
"I'm not rooting for anybody but I'm just saying if JDS wins, there's a little something there between me and JDS that could be a shortcut [to the title]."