Alistair Overeem’s MMA career has recently taken a turn for the worst following back-to-back losses in the UFC. His most recent defeat came this past weekend at UFC Fight Night 26, where he was knocked out by Jackson’s MMA heavyweight fighter and rising star Travis Browne.
On paper, Overeem’s experience should have given him an advantage in this fight, but the reality is that he looked and performed in exactly the same fashion as his previous bout against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 156 in February. The only difference was that the fight against Browne ended a lot quicker. Both fights had the same story though, Alistair took the early advantage, but later became sluggish and showed little respect for his opponent by having his hands extremely low.
It seems that if you are able to weather the early storm then you stand a pretty good chance of catching “The Reem” slipping at a later stage in the fight.
Over and over again I seem to hear the words “Alistair Overeem is one of the best strikers in the heavyweight division”. However, he has not been able to prove this since joining the the big leagues a.k.a the UFC. Therefore, I am not sure you will hear many people commending his striking now as it simply holds no weight.
Granted, he did defeat Brock Lesnar in his UFC debut, but if I remember correctly didn’t he follow that up by failing his UFC 146 pre-fight drug test with a 14-to-1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio, which is well over the allowed ratio rate of 6-to-1. How do we know he wasn’t jacked up on steroids when he fought Brock? You hear so many stories of guys peaking at certain times during their training and then allowing their testosterone levels to drop come testing time that it forces us to question a fighter’s previous performances.
Many of you will have seen the before-and-after pictures floating around on the internet of Overeem in his younger days compared to how he looked just before he fought Lesnar. There is a huge difference in his physical appearance and he really seemed to have packed on a lot of muscle.
The thing I found strange following the fight against Brock was yet another odd change that followed Alistair’s ban. When he stepped onto the scales to weigh-in for his fight against “Bigfoot” I picked up on a noticeable decrease in muscle mass, compared to the chiseled and ripped body he sported at the UFC 141 weigh-ins? Maybe it is just me, but I could definitely see that something bizarre was happening and I’m no expert on the human body.
When you look at Alistair’s credentials as a former Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 heavyweight champion, you have to respect what he has achieved as a fighter. However, with such a shining resume also comes great expectations and Overeem has not lived up to those expectations thus far. I am sure he himself is shocked at how his last two fights played out, which has to be very damaging for his confidence.
From the UFC’s point of view Alistair Overeem does not come cheap, so if he is not performing in the Octagon they will not want to keep on throwing cash at him. “The Demolition Man” took home $285,714.29 for losing to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva and I suspect he would have earned a similar figure for his fight against Travis Browne. The UFC cannot afford to keep paying someone this kind of a salary if they are not performing. Alistair is a big draw, but if he wants to stay in the world’s no.1 promotion he will need to make some big changes.
With his chin now exposed I can see fighters in the heavyweight division wanting to fight Alistair as it is a potential victory that could boost you up the rankings. We will have to see what happens, but it is hard to predict what the UFC will do with Overeem next. What do you think?
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