Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (35-11) will make his long-awaited UFC debut Friday night when he takes on former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar (5-2) in the main event at UFC 141, which will be broadcast on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET.
Overeem brings a 10-fight win streak into the Octagon along with a lot of hype that has been growing for the past couple years. Undefeated since 2008, Overeem has made it look easy versus overmatched opponents and has only been past the first round twice. Impressive wins over Brett Roger and Todd Duffee make him appear as one of the more dominant heavyweight fighters in the division, but his lackluster win over Fabricio Werdum in June has fans second guessing just how warranted the hype really is.
Most of the questions will be answered when he faces a big test in Lesnar, who hasn’t fought since losing his title to Cain Velasquez in October 2010. The outcome of tonight’s fight should let fans know where Overeem stands in the division, and a loss could set him back considerably if he is unable to make it past the former WWE superstar. That doesn’t mean he can’t make it back to the top with some solid follow-up victories.
The winner of this fight is set to face current UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos, who knocked out Cain Velasquez in November. The loser will fall in the rankings, but this is the heavyweight division, and once fans look past the top 10, there aren’t many dangerous matchups for the former K1 kickboxing champion.
Other main card matchups on the pay-per-view main card include Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone, Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks, Nam Phan vs. Jimy Hettes and Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Alexander Gustafsson.