Strikeforce reaction: Alistair Overeem is not the best striker in MMA

Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem isn't the best striker in the heavyweight division, let alone MMA.

The running story going into the Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum fight was that Overeem was the best striker in MMA. I think the overriding factor for people to come to conclusion was that Overeem won the 2010 K-1 Grand Prix.

The K-1 organization is thought to have the world’s best strikers(kickboxers). However, that wasn’t the case as Overeem was outstruck on the feet by Fabricio Werdum even though he lost the fight. It’s actually arguable that Werdum should have gotten the decision, and according to Fightmetric he should have won. I think he deserved to win that fight.

When I think of the term ‘best striker’, I think of a fighter that can mix combinations together with his hands and feet effectively, or is really great at landing strikes with their hands or feet alone. I think of two fighters in the heavyweight division that do this, Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez. Whether those two could go win a K-1 GP is irrelevent because they have proven they can implement their striking prowess in MMA. The main thing to remember is that Overeem got outstuck by a heavyweight that isn’t known for his striking!

The Overeem that fought Werdum was looking for one big shot to get the knockout. He wasn’t putting any combinations together, and only threw a few kicks the entire fight. Now, I can understand not throwing many kicks due to the risk of being taken down by a superior grappler. However, the Overeem that fought last night was more dependant on power than anything else. Actually, he fought no different than he does in his K-1 matches. He fought patiently, eating strikes to land his power shots trying to get the knockout.Is that the definition of what the best striker in MMA is?

I think not.

So before anyone else crowns Overeem the best striker in MMA, remember, he’s not even the best striker in the heavyweight division.

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  • I think you’re wrong.
    The matchup against Werdum was just bad for Overeem. Werdum may have landed more punches but they weren’t hard so did no damage. The punches that Overeem landed were much harder and had Werdum put to the ground (intentionally or not by Werdum) so there was no way to land more kicks or punches.

    Werdum is supposed to be a top level BJJ but ALL(!) of his takedown attempts were easily stopped by Overeem so the only way for Werdum to get him to the ground was in the clinch pulling him on top of him by letting him fall and ending up on the bottom. But then he couldn’t do anything aswell, only 1 attempt at the very last seconds of the 3rd round which he failed by just making up he had Overeems foot in a hurtfull/dangerous position. Luckily the judges saw that aswell and correctly gave the win to Overeem.

    That said, Overeem gassed quite fast (although Werdum was in an even worse shape) and I think he needs to train more with the smaller gloves.

    But still, for me Overeem is the best striker in the HW devision if the opponent won’t drop himself to the ground after avery single punch that landed.

  • Takedown defense has nothing to do with this….So all you have to do is land hard punches and that makes someone the best striker in MMA? Plenty of guys can do that. It doesn’t matter if Werdum’s punches did much damage…he was scoring and he got the better of the exchanges.

    So you think Overeem is a better striker in MMA than JDS and Velasquez?

  • Action Hank

    1. Anderson Silva is the best striker in MMA.

    2. Overeem did not lose the standup battle just because Werdum landed more shots.

    3. Overeem is the best HW striker.

    Werdum really only bested Overeem standup-wise in the 3rd IMO. Did you not see the first two rounds where Overeem was tossing Werdum across the cage and sweeping him at will? Werdum could hardly get himself off the canvas when the ref stood him up.

    Also Overeem was not in any trouble during any point of the fight standup or ground. Most strikes he deflected pretty well and it was obvious from the get go he was not going to let his hands go against Werdum.

    His lack of striking in that fight was intentional, he only threw power punches on purpose. He’s had plenty of MMA fights where he showcased his striking prowress this was just a bad performance.

  • Yep…Werdum won the first round striking wise in the first round…almost doubling the strikes landed…

    Overeem tossing Werdum to the ground didn’t do anything really…

    I don’t think you can legitimately say Overeem wasn’t hurt at all…what you believe that just because he said so? I mean…he may have been baiting Werdum to come in by backing up and holding his guard up really high…but I mean..come on now…it ain’t the matrix in that piece…I’m not saying he was any real trouble…but he got tagged pretty good several times.

    ALL Overeem throws is power punches….even in K-1.

    “He’s had plenty of MMA fights where he showcased his striking prowress this was just a bad performance.”

    And as the saying goes…you are only as good as your last performance.

  • Cliff Speed

    I’m with you Kelvin. Not only is Overeem not the best striker in MMA, he’s not even the best striker at HW. After last night, I don’t think he’s the best at anything. He’s a pretty good fighter, just like he’s always been, but not nearly the best. I don’t think he could handle Carwin, JDS, Cain, or Lesnar. He wouldn’t be able to to just stand in there waiting to load up on that one big shot with any of those guys. He’d either be getting pounded or taken to the ground. Werdum’s takedowns are nothing compared to those top three wrestlers in UFC’s HW division, and he’d be a fool to stand and trade with JDS.

    I am conflicted on whether I think Werdum won that fight or not though. Yes, he did out-strike Overeem standing – and power shots don’t always equal winning – numbers of punches landed count for something too, even if they’re not powerful – but all that butt-scooting and playing possum to trick Overeeem into his guard was weaksauce. I was embarrassed for him just watching. He looked foolish and incapable of competing with Overeem in those moments. And then when Overeem finally was in his guard – like he was begging him to do (again weaksauce) – he did nothing with it and was totally gassed by then. So from that perspective, I don’t think he “deserved” the win whether he out-struck Overeem or not. All that said, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the judges had called it either way, and I wouldn’t have been upset about either guy winning either. They both looked pretty crappy out there last night and Overeem didn’t look as if he took the fight seriously at all. I think he’s starting to believe his own hype.

  • ed solimine

    You are an absolute retard.. no clue what you are talking about. Pitiful perception of what actually happened during the fight.

  • Cliff Speed

    Ah, Ed. You make me laugh so hard.

  • Brian

    sorry, but you’re wrong. overheem is a better striker than cain and dos santos. is he a better fighter, maybe. time will tell. people who don’t fight, wrestle, or compete in other individual sports don’t understand how confidence is really the thing that wins. both overheem and werdum were at their peak of confidence in this fight. that makes each fighter tougher at the beginning more so than their other fights. werdum proved he doesn’t want to fight and acted much like thales leites did against silva. overheem has been criticized just as unfairly too. styles makes fights and werdum is the classic staller. overheem did what he had to which is the most important. he didn’t risk wild shots in order to knock out werdum and maybe cost him a knockout, but he did what a great striker does, he outscored him. werdum looked like a blue belt against a black belt. cain and dos santos would be more willing to engage and make a much more entertaining fight, but that doesn’t mean it is the best choice. cain has a great challenge in dos santos, but I think his strength lies in stamina and heart. cain might not win a k-1 match against overheem, but when you add his ability to press and not allow his opponent to do what they want it makes him the top in the charts. this ability to press makes him a bad matchup for overheem, not nonsense about jumping on the bandwagon to say bad things about overheem. no one can make the argument that if in a k-1 fight anyone other than overheem would win, but it isn’t k-1. overheem won’t be able to just kick and not pay for it. an unsuccessful knee would also result in a takedown, but if you can’t take him down cain would not win. overheem is without a doubt the best striker and that is because he is well timed and that is why he intentionally ate some of werdum’s strikes in order to land a much harder counter. werdum was being such a pussy that it was the only way to really land some strikes and it worked. rewatch the fight and you will see what I’m saying. the stats were wrong too. werdum only got one takedown instead of three. none of that matters against either dos santos or cain. dos santos has potential to be kneed and cain has better hands, but dos santos’ power is huge and could knock anyone out. I do believe that no matter what happens overheem should fight the winner and back out of this tournament. giant silva is going to be a breeze and barnett shouldn’t even be fighting, he’s a disgrace to the sport. he is a three time cheat and the worst of all active fighters. he should be punished for his deeds. I would much rather see overheem vs brock and then the title. brock deserves to get a real beating and it would be great to watch someone who brock would know there isn’t one aspect where he would have a chance. he isn’t stronger, wouldn’t be able to take him down, and on his feet he would be a sitting duck. he thought he would be able to out strength cain and made me a couple grand. this would be great because all of his moron fans would bet on him and make me rich. he pussed out on dos santos because he knew he couldn’t win. too funny.

  • Paragraphs are your friend..and no…Overeem did not outscore Werdum striking.

  • Cliff Speed

    LOL. Great work as always Kelvin. I wish people would address the person to whom they are writing, because I’m not sure if it’s you or me or both of us. I think if you’re going to tell someone they’re wrong, or call them a retard, you should at least be clear about to whom you are speaking. Lol.

  • Benni

    Dude, why even start up a discussion when you don’t take your audience seriously? “Paragraphs are your friend”.. You’re lacking both maturity and the ability to accept someone else’s opinion.

  • Hey are right..I could have responded better…but writing all of that without breaking it up into paragraphs irks me. However, if you’ll read above I accept opinion of others when the opinion is written where it’s legible. What is your opinion on the matter?

  • Action Hank

    Wait, you honestly think Werdum won the 1st round?

  • edub

    Landing more strikes doesn’t mean you “win the striking battle”. This isn’t point fighting. If Werdum lands 10 times, then gets dropped to the ground trying to go for guard, he’s not winning. He’s just landing more.

    However, I agree. IMO JDS would KO Overeem. I think he would blast him standing up, and have Overeem searching for a throw or trip 2 minutes into the fight. I also think Carwin would beat him by outmuscling him into the cage and crushing his soul there (thank you Josh Barnett). Cain I honesly believe would have him searching for a way out in the second.

    Whichever way you take it Overeems stock dropped after this weekend. However, he jumped 5 spots in my rankings. Weird, eh?

  • edub

    BTW: The tossing to the ground was doing a hell of a lot more than your letting on. Nobody in their right mind would actually score that first round for Werdum.