Alistair Overeem: The Big Man’s Big Problems

Alistair Overeem: The Big Man’s Big Problems


Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem signed with the UFC 21 months ago and amid much fanfare. When he came on-board with the big show the Dutch kick-boxing star and multiple promotions champion was intended to be one of the brand’s biggest stars, and was supposed to have a quick and meteoric rise to the top of the heavyweight division. However, none of that happened.

Instead, Overeem has gone 1 & 2 in the UFC and aside from his debut performance and destruction of Brock Lesnar (December of 2011), Overeem has proven to be a complete bust in the UFC. Whether or not it’s been poor performances in the Octagon and against fighters he should have beaten (at least on paper) or his failed drug test in of April of last year, “The Reem” has failed to deliver or impress, and last night’s debacle at UFC Fight Night 26 was merely a continuation of the trend.  

I for one, as many others, expected to see a different Alistair Overeem last night. It would have been the general consensus amongst most MMA fans that given his calamitous loss to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, a loss that many attributed to Alistair’s ring-ego / Octagon IQ and lack of conditioning, that the Reem would have learned from the loss and in-turn, addressed those issues in the lead-up to his bout with Travis Browne.

Indeed, evidence of his growth and an understanding of the mistakes that he’d made seemed to be readily available in his comments to the media and in the new no-nonsense coach (Mike Passenier) that the Reem had brought in to run his camp.

However, last night it was proven not to be the case.

Alistair started the fight in beautiful fashion and appeared to be in tremendous form and shape. He delivered some devastating punishment to Travis Browne and looked to be only a blow away from either stopping Browne or forcing the referee Mario Yamasaki to step in and do it for him. However, “Hapa” withstood it all and got back up.

At the end of their exchange and its travels from cage to canvas and back up again, Overeem looked to have tired and slowed. Browne himself made note of it at the post-fight press conference. On this point, Overeem seems to have learned nothing from his loss to Antonio Silva, for he didn’t look as if he was capable of going a full (hard) 3 rounds and he should not have tired or slowed that easily. Granted, he put out a lot of effort when he was beating on Browne, but that’s the nature of the game. If an opponent doesn’t wilt you need to be able to carry on and do so for the full fight. That is the conditioning that a fighter needs to bring to the ring and Alistair failed in that last night.

Regarding his ego / Octagon IQ I surmise the following: That Overeem felt he had owned Browne for ostensibly the whole of the first round and in beating on him as he did, he confirmed for himself that which he had believed going into the fight, which was, that Hapa was no threat to him and that he could now boldly begin to walk Browne down and not worry about Hapa’s range, and do it all with no movement what-so-ever; particularly head movement. One beautiful Anderson Silva-esque (left) front-snap-kick later, combined with three big rights and it was all over.

Ostensibly, it’s the same mistake that he made against Bigfoot. He thought he had the fight in the bag and not much to worry about from his opponent and he paid for it; case closed.    

At this stage of the game his career in the UFC is on the ropes and how Mike Passenier or any new coach corrects the reasons for it, namely his cardio and ego / Octagon IQ, I have no idea. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s over for the Reem or that the problems can’t be fixed, but with that said, I don’t think they can be fixed in Miami and around his Blackzilian team-mates. I think he needs a new home, camp and team.  

I doubt that he’ll be cut yet, but he’s probably only 1 loss away from it and if he wants to stay, then he’s going to need to address these issues. In terms of who he draws next, it’s apt to be either the loser of Mir / Barnett or Nelson / Cormier and for him to garner a win against any of those opponents the Reem will be in need of more than a few minutes’ worth of staying power and focus.   

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  • Rory Kernaghan

    Problem 1. Suspect chin 2. footwork 3. Lastnight's referee

    • Just Scrapping

      A heavy weight's sneeze is all it takes to put him to sleep.

      weighed in 10 pounds lighter than usual? must be low on horse meat.

    •;starare1person dana&patrick; star are 1 person

      bigmans body with a chicken chin.

      • dropkickmurphy

        He's got the body of Conan the Barbarian and the chin of Conan O'brien.

    • D

      Why the referee?

  • D

    It was a great KO, and Browne deserves all the credit in the world, but Anderson Silva-esque? No.

    Silva's came out of nowhere, and he only needed one.

    Browne threw several front kicks to the body, and several to the head that missed before he finally landed one…he was clearly looking for it, yet Overeem somehow didn't see it coming, and even walked right into it with his hands down and chin up in a forward leaning, low stance that made the kick that much easier for Browne.

    • Brian Cox

      It was beautiful and I still say it was Silva-esque and I say that regarding the kick itself and not the volume of them.

      Actually, if you think about it, it's even more bizarre that he landed it, given how many he was throwing. Just before it happened, I knew it was going to happen…I was saying to myself angle off you dumb-***, just as it was happening. Unbelievable, he didn't see it coming. It was being advertised.

      Oh well, be on the UFC's 2013 highlight reel.

      • D

        To me, Silva-esque requires three things. Creativity, unpredictability, and perfect timing. Browne displayed one of those things with that kick. After six or eight of them, it wasn't creative and it certainly wasn't unpredictable.

        I agree with you that it was a beautiful KO, but this is a bit like calling Vince Carter Jordanesque because they were both great dunkers.

  • clownshoes

    Overeem has great attacks on his feet. He has great punches, kicks, knees, and elbows, but that's it. His defense really is just pathetic. He's not a good striker, he's just a good attacker. Brown threw about 100 front kicks before he landed one on Overeem's jaw, yet Overeem made no adjustments. He just has horrible awareness.

    • Brian Cox

      Brutal awareness. You really do have to ask yourself, what was he thinking?
      He lined up on him dead-center and just within Hapa's range and then he just stood there…boom. I couldn't believe it. It was like a Vitor Belfort moment all over again.

  • enjoylife321

    Reem was milliseconds away from a finish. He should have won that fight and also the previous. For that reason he does not deserve to be cut.

    The biggest problem for reem is that his chin becomes weaker and weaker, his confidence declines. Two consecutive knockouts is not healthy for anyone

    • highkick12

      How should he have won it if Brown got up and knocked him out??
      He could have with a different ref but then you'd have to consider it a lucky stoppage considering what happened next.

    • LieutenantDan

      Get off his dong, travis survived like a warrior and smashed him out.

      • Brian Cox

        Browne fought like a stud. That was a gutsy feaking performance, man.

    • Brian Cox

      I don't know if he should have won those 2 fights, but he certainly could have; particularly the Browne fight. Why he started punching Browne in the head while they were on the ground, instead of dropping knee-bombs on his…I have no idea. That was his big mistake IMO. He gassed out from the punches, not the knees.

      Oh well, back to the drawing board and no, I don't think he should be cut yet, either.

      • enjoylife321

        knees to the body are definetly effective in finishing a guy off. A lot of those punches are hitting hard cranial bones or deflecting off gloves. He gassed after the flurry

  • jmedno5891

    The problem is that Overeem still comes forward as if he's wearing those big boxing gloves that protect his chin so well with the style he uses. He can't do that here and he's having to learn the hard way that the same lumbering style that has made him a champ elsewhere isn't going to cut it here. That's the only thing stopping him.

    • SVGoogle

      Oh, interesting idea about the big gloves!

  • Cookie77

    It's looking like Overeem is over rated. Second time he disrespected his opponent. I mean Brown threw 3 or 4 front kick and yet Overeem just stood in front of Brown. If he respected Brown he would have made some adjustment namely not standing in front of him.

    • Brian Cox

      Yeah, agree with that Cookie. I still think he can make some noise, but he's probably only got one kick-at-the-can left.

      I mean the way he started the round was amazing. He looked like the old Alistair. Browne said those knees were brutal. Actually, if Reem had used those on the ground and not punches, it would have been a different article and headline, because I think the Reem would have finished Browne, but alas, he did not.

  • gm1

    Reem has horrible defense…his hands were up but he was too stupid to defend against the uppercut or a front kick. Travis threw many of those but Reem just took them. Travis and Bigfoot are not even in the top 5. JDS will knock him out, Cain will stomp him out, DC will also knock him out….Overeem will never be champ…. NO CHIN, NO CARDIO, NO FIGHTERS COMMON SENSE….

  • Entity

    I got 99 problems but a ***** aint one.

    • Brian Cox

      Browne whone…now, where's his money?

  • steven306

    Too bad Herb Dean wasnt ref'in, Overeem woulda won….lmao!!!

  • odesahitman

    Good article – thanks.

    (Heads up) Overeem was born in England.

    As any fighter on this thread will confirm, if you go all out and don't finish the guy, then your legs can feel like they've turned into lead.

    At a time when he could quite reasonably have run/ moved off Travis's striking line… to buy himself recovery time, Overeem decided to keep coming forward, (mistake=yes, confident/ determined=yes)…

    Decisions made in the heat of battle, whilst the body screams for oxygen and the legs and arms feel like they're moving through mud aren't necessarily the best… However, as a fighter one must have the courage to live with and learn from ones decisions – if this occurs, then the sheep who deride Overeem now, will be bleating his praises in this future…

    After reading this thread, I wish that it was only people who are actual fighters could make comments about the fighter… It's so disrespectful to mock a fighter in this way without knowing what its like to get hit by a heavy weight in the face and body whilst exhausted.

    • Brian Cox

      Cheers, Odesa.

      To your point, as I'm not a professional fighter I can only imagine what being in a professional fight would be like and all fighters deserve our respect for having the willingness and heart, to not only get in the ring and fight, but to train as well.

  • nortagem

    Well it's not the lack of respect to his opponent which was Overeem's downfall.
    He tried to go for the kill, and got exhausted in the process. It happens. A lot.
    The real problem is his suspect chin: You'll have a very hard time winning fights, especially in the heavyweight division, when you can't take a good punch.
    That's why he lost, and that's why he'll never be able to become the UFC's heavyweight champion.

    • Brian Cox

      That is exactly what happened. In terms of his chin, I'm not sure there's a chin in the UFC that can withstand that type of a kick (if landed properly). It's basically a huge upper-cut, I don't know who's taking that and still be standing on their feet.

  • cranestyle

    Don't blame the referee for Overeem's loss, Mario did just fine. There was no question that Overeem had Browne in trouble when he turtled up, but when Yamasaki told him he had to move, Travis did.

    Overeem, on the other hand, was on his back, his hands limp, not protecting his head, eating hammer fists. He recovered quickly after the stoppage, but if the ref hadn't stepped in, he would have kept eating big punches and got ktfo.

    • Brian Cox

      Crane, I think Yamasaki did an amazing job. He was right there and nearly stopped the fight and praise the spirits of the Octagon for not having don so.

      When I was watching it, I was thinking to myself…not yet, not yet…and then every time I thought he should pull the trigger Hapa adjusted just enough to stem it off and Yamasaki backed-off.

      It was a great job on his behalf.

      When Mario stepped in to stop the fight, the Reem was done. He was out. Great stoppage.

  • SVGoogle

    To say something positve.
    Actually Reem looked much better than in previous fight. The trainer Mike had a good affect on him, hope they stick together. Hope he weys 245 lbs for next fight.

    I think he missed some one or two knees to stop the fight. He could use the knees instead of punding himself out. After the onslaught the gas tank was over, thats was it. With this cardio no chances against Cain. I was rooting for the Reem, just because, there could be some good potential matchups

    • Brian Cox

      SV, I couldn't agree more. You're spot on.

  • Vic

    So who would be next…?

    Pat Barry
    Roy Nelson
    Stipe Miocic
    Mark Hunt…? 😛

    • D

      Mark Hunt

    • Cookie77

      Check Congo

  • Vic

    As long as Reem is receiving insanity paychecks, I don't see a reason for him to quit the UFC.
    Since the UFC has not announced a cut yet, I strongly believe that they are hesitant in doing so…

  • chaos

    I actually felt bad for Reem =/

  • baymeo25

    Overeem is finally off the juice. We all saw the difference when he stepped on the scale vs. Bigfoot. Even Arianny wasn't eyeballing him like she did against Brock. No more juice no more wins. Better yet, busted on juice… knocked out 2x in a row. Coincidence? I think not.

  • FightFan120

    Overeem cut… No.. not for a long time I say.. he should be gatekeeper. Gotta get through overeem first.

  • hondata79

    This all just proves to me he was always a cheater on roids ! Bet he was on roids when he beat Brock… Think Brock should take that fight out of retirement, i think he would win if they faught again.