Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum Head to Head: Who will win this Saturday?Posted on June 14, 2011, 07:01 AM by Anton Gurevich
This weekend, Alistair "The Reem" Overeem (34-11) and Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum (14-4-1) will meet in the main event of the stacked Strikeforce card at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The fight will determine the identity of Antonio Silva's opponent in the semi-final of Strikeforce Heavyweight GP.
Alistair Overeem is currently 1-0 down against Fabricio Werdum, after the Brazilian Octopus submitted the Dutchman via Kimura back at 2006's Pride Total Elimination Absolute. According to Overeem, this time it will be a totally different story, but according to Werdum, Alistair Overeem is still "his son".
Here's Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum Head to Head:
Striking: 75-25 Alistair Overeem
Alistair Overeem is without a doubt currently one of the best Heavyweight striker in MMA. During his 2010 K-1 WGP campaign, Ubereem went toe-to-toe with some of the best pure strikers in combat sports, and eventually won the title by bulldozing the veterans Tyrone Spong, Gokhan Saki and Peter Aerts in the final. Reem's striking is a little bit different from the traditional Muay Thai approach we know from Shogun Rua and Melvin Manhoef. Alistair Overeem usually covers up while moving forward, waiting for a perfect timing to unleash fury on his opponents. It's a well-calculated weapon of mass destruction that sent some of the toughest fighters in both K-1 and MMA with their face down to the canvas.
Overeem's opponent, Fabricio Werdum, already proved he has what it takes to survive on his feet against a heavy-hitting KO machine by facing the "Bigfoot" Antonio Silva. Silva, who's at least as powerful as Overeem, tested Werdum's chin on numerous occasions, but still was unable to finish Vai Cavalo. And of course the fact alone that Fabricio Werdum exchanged strikes during all three rounds with someone like Bigfoot says a lot about his underrated stand-up skills.
This way or another, Overeem is a much better striker than Fabricio Werdum. But again, Fabricio Werdum loves to fight fire with fire, so don't be surprised if we see a three-round war in this one.
Clinch / Dirty Boxing: 85-15 Alistair Overeem
Alistair Overeem's clinch game is legendary. Overeem KO'd so many opponents with his famous uberknee, and of course will look to do the same against Fabricio Werdum. The Dutchman is exceptionally strong, and knows well how to control his opponents at the fence. Overeem had no problem to deliver the uberknee while fighting in the ring. Fighting inside the cage will only make things easier for him. Plus, Fabricio Werdum likes to have his takedowns from the clinch or at the fence, but he knows just like anyone else that it would be a very bad idea against someone like Alistair Overeem.
Training Camp: 50-50 Draw
Alistair Overeem and Fabricio Werdum have two of the best training camps in Mixed Martial Arts. Overeem comes from the famous Team Golden Glory, training alongside Sergei Kharitonov, Gokhan Saki, Semmy Schilt, Jon Olav Einemo and many others. That's an all-star team of MMA and K-1 Champions – a dream camp for every Mixed Martial Artist on the planet. From other side, Fabricio Werdum represents Rafael Cordeiro's Kings MMA Gym, a home to fighters such as Renato Sobral, Mayhem Miller, Mark Munoz and recently to Anderson Silva and Shogun Rua. Alistair Overeem has great Heavyweights to train with, while Fabricio Werdum has some of the most well-rounded talent at his disposal.
Also, it will be a very interesting showdown between Rafael Cordeiro (Kings MMA) and Martijn De Jong (Golden Glory). De Jong and Cordeiro have their own fighting philosophy, and will definitely contribute to the quality of the Overeem-Werdum match-up.
Grappling: 65-35 Fabricio Werdum
Just like Alistair Overeem in striking, Fabricio Werdum has a clear advantage when it comes to grappling. Vai Cavalo is a multi-time ADCC World Champion and BJJ Mundial Champion, and has 8 submission victories on his record, one of them against "The Last Emperor" Fedor Emelianenko. Werdum has a perfect physique for Jiu-Jitsu and will use his second to none movement on the ground to work his way into a dominant position against Overeem. Speaking about Overeem, let's not forget that The Demolition Man has 19 Submission victories and the 2005 ADCC European Championship to prove he's no joke on the ground. Of course, Overeem is far from being at the level of Fabricio Werdum when it comes to BJJ, but his current skill still might be enough to survive on the ground against Vai Cavalo.
X Factor: Fabricio Werdum
Fabricio Werdum loves to be the underdog, and definitely has what it takes to get another shocking victory. Shocking? Well, not really. It's enough to look at the level of competition Fabricio Werdum faced throughout his career to understand that this Saturday's main event is far from being a one-sided match-up. Vai Cavalo has his own strengths, and can definitely get his hand raised against Alistair Overeem. It will be also interesting to see Fabricio Werdum returning from a year-long layoff, a huge factor, especially when fighting someone like Alistair Overeem. Fabricio Werdum is master strategist, he's extremely confident and will not lose to Overeem until the Dutchman KO's or taps him out. It's hard to know what to really expect from Fabricio Werdum, so the X Factor is definitely on his side. Expect fireworks, ladies and gentlemen.
Photo: Esther Lin for Showtime/Strikeforce