Friday, December 30, will mark the first Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view that does not take place on a Saturday. The fight will air on a special night. With all of the pre-fight hoopla and attention that will be paid to the main event—Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar—the new night feels appropriate.
The fight was moved due to New Years Eve festivities in Las Vegas. But the drawing power of such a monumental heavyweight matchup cannot be ignored. The UFC brass does not want to lose out of those sweet pay-per-view dollars, and that's the reason we are treated to a Friday night fight.
In what seems to be par for the course this year, the main event of UFC 141 has had its share of scares and storylines.
Alistair Overeem has had issues obtaining a fight license in Nevada due to differences in drug testing policies between the United States and Holland. Because of this, Overeem also had to deal with the nuisance of repeated holiday travel. When you couple that with the recent news that his mother's illness may be returning, the Dutchman has had a lot on his plate.
The one thing he has left to do before 2012 is to fight and defeat former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. No big deal, right?
Lesnar has been dealing with a host of issues leading to the December 30 clash. The former UFC champion's problems have been far more internal, with illness keeping him on the sidelines for 14 months.
After a October 2010 loss to Cain Velasquez—in which he ceded his championship—Lesnar faced a second bout of the intestinal disease diverticulitis. The disease resurfaced with a vengeance and the former World Wrestling Entertainment star was forced to undergo a major surgery to attempt to fix the problem.
According to his trainer, Brock Lesnar is now 100 percent and will be the best he has ever been. Will he regain the aura he once had?
Alistair Overeem has faced many more distractions in the weeks leading up to the December fight. He has had to deal with the possible resurfacing of his mother's cancer, numerous drug tests and flights and the switch to a new training camp.
These are all major distractions that can cause some fighters to lose mental focus. However, I just don't see it having an effect on 'Reem.
Overeem has been a professional fighter for over a decade. So, even though this is the biggest fight of his life, he will be able to put the other things in his life aside to focus on both Lesnar and getting a crack at the UFC heavyweight championship.
Anyone who saw Brock's fights with Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez knows that he has not learned to take a punch the way that a lot of fighters have. This is mostly due to the fact that he didn't get hit very often previously.
A modern UFC heavyweight must be able to take a shot to the head in order to survive. Current big men are simply too powerful and accurate inside the cage. Lesnar will get hit by Alistair Overeem in this fight and he will get hit hard. Can he take the heat? That is the real question.
Brock Lesnar is a wrestler above all else. He is smart enough to know that he can't stand in front of Alistair "The Demolition Man" Overeem for any length of time and expect to survive. Lesnar must work into close range and do some dirty boxing and clinch work or take the fight to the mat.
The problem is that Overeem is just as powerful as Brock and possesses a much more diverse skill set. Overeem has K-1 kickboxing-level striking that is arguably the best in the UFC. Alistair can also submit opponents on the ground. When you add this to the fact that he has a very strong Thai clinch and good takedown defense, the result is not hard to predict.
Eventually Lesnar will leave himself open and that is all it will take. Overeem will win this fight by knockout—and it will happen by the end of round two.