Alistair ‘Demolition Man’ Overeem is a big, scary looking man and a talented fighter. More particularly, he was supposed to be a big, scary looking fighter and big star in the UFC. However, that hasn’t happened.
Entering the senior circuit in December of 2011 and as a former Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight champion, as well as being a Pride veteran and K-1 world champion, Overeem came to the UFC amidst much hype and hope.
However, none of it has really worked out for the charismatic Dutch fighter.
Since joining the promotion a little more than 24 months ago, the Demolition Man has gone 1 – 2 and looked, for the most part, awful over his two fights and subsequent losses. Beyond that, Overeem was sidelined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for nine months in April of 2012, when he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
In short, Overeem has, for the most part and aside from his first victory in the brand, been a complete bust in the promotion and now finds himself on the edge of possibly being cut by the franchise. As such, this weekend’s fight with Frank Mir, another fighter that’s on the UFC’s ‘do not revive list’, is a big one, if not must win scenario, for Overeem; as it is for Mir.
Overeem is riding a two fight losing streak and was KO’d in both instances. Tomorrow night, at UFC 169 in Chicago, Illinois, Overeem needs not only to win, but to demonstrate himself as being the fighter he’s hyped to be.
Mir is tailor made to give Overeem the fight that he needs to once again look spectacular in the Octagon and impress both White and the fans. Mir is not known for setting a high pace, nor is he known for being overly aggressive. Further, as Mir is not renowned for his wrestling skills he doesn’t stand as a big threat to Overeem in terms of taking him to the ground and using his (Mir’s) superior grappling skills to finish the fight.
Perhaps and more to the point, as Mir is not on Overeem’s level as a stand-up fighter, he poses little threat to the Demotion Man on the feet. Put it all in a blender and this is a bad fight for Mir and one very much suited to Overeem’s style. Resultantly, Overeem should be able to come out and impose the strategy he wishes and not have to worry too much about whatever Mir’s game plan might be.
The only caveat in all of it would have to be Overeem’s gas tank. As the Reem has had trouble in this area before, most recently with Travis Browne at UFC Fight Night 26 back in August of last year, he has proven himself susceptible to gassing out and getting crushed.
However and with that said, the UFC has released Overeem’s one and only victory in the UFC, his KO defeat of Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 in December of 2011, as way of a reminder of how great Overeem can look in the Octagon.
On the night, the Reem looked amazing. He came out and literally took Lesnar apart, dispatching the behemoth at the 2:26 mark of the first round of their match. Indeed, it was a glorious fight and finish for the Reem and one that he had predicted, in terms of its outcome and how he’d finish the fight; a left kick to the liver.
Through the fight, what little of it there was, Overeem showed Lesnar absolutely no respect and in doing so, bullied the bully. The Demolition man blew through Lesnar as if he wasn’t and wilted the giant with a series of devastating knees; all as he pushed Lesnar around the Octagon looking to set up the coups de gras that would be the finishing kick.
It was a brilliant performance and one that marked Overeem for great things in the UFC and come this Saturday night, Overeem will be looking to repeat the performance and as against an opponent that offers considerably less of a threat to him.
Mir is a tough fighter and a talented one to be sure, but for him to win this fight it will (probably) have to go to the ground and that’s going to prove a difficult task for the former UFC heavyweight champion to accomplish. Regarding the task, Mir might be wise to consider pushing the fight to the fence and jumping guard; something rarely seen in the UFC these days.
Either way, it should be a good fight and important test for both. As both are on losing streaks (Overeem at two and Mir at three) and possibly looking at being cut by the promotion, both are apt to be well motivated to be looking for, not just a win, but a decisive and impressive victory.
As a prelude to tomorrow’s Overeem vs. Mir fight, here’s Alistair’s 2011 crushing of Brock Lesnar.