UFC 141 Results: Alistair Overeem vs. Junior Dos Santos Breakdown
Mark J Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
Holding the belt is Brazilian heavy hitter Junior dos Santos, who recently knocked out Cain Velasquez to claim the heavyweight crown.
With Overeem's impressive first-round drubbing of Lesnar, this fan-friendly striking battle pitting two of the division's most technically sound sluggers can now come to fruition.
Overeem Is a Highly Underrated Grappler
Because of Overeem's recent exploits in the striking realm, many people forget that the Dutchman comes from a touted grappling background.
Among his 36 career victories as a professional mixed martial artist, 19 of those wins have come by submission. His go-to move, his patented guillotine choke, has earned victories over the likes of James Thompson, Igor Vovchanchyn and former UFC champion Vitor Belfort—Overeem being the only man to submit the Carlson Gracie black belt.
In 2005, Overeem became the ADCC Submission Wrestling European Trials champion when he submitted all three of his opponents via guillotine choke, further earning him praise for his underrated skill set.
Dos Santos is no slouch of his own, showing off some wrestling skills in his outing against Shane Carwin, a former top collegiate athlete who became the NCAA Division II champion in 1999.
The Brazilian was able to take down the hulking Carwin in the later stages of the bout, though he favored to pound away on his opponent despite holding a brown belt in jiu-jitsu under the Nogueira brothers.
Ultimately, it's Overeem's experience and submission skills that he's displayed throughout his career that gain him the advantage here.
Overeem Is Arguably the Most Technical Striker in the Sport
You don't earn the K-1 World Grand Prix title without being a savvy striker.
Overeem has honed his skills over the years with the likes of the Golden Glory crew, which has produced the likes of Errol Zimmerman, Gokhan Saki and four-time GP champion Semmy Schilt.
In the kickboxing world, Overeem has dispatched the likes of the aforementioned Saki, Tyrone Spong, Ewerton Teixeira, Peter Aerts and Badr Hari—all of whom are considered to be some of the best strikers in the heavyweight class.
Overeem's 6'5" frame has allowed him to utilize his knees in devastating fashion. Overeem has an uncanny ability to close a long distance with those leaping knees to the face, though "The Demolition Man" showed another facet of his repertoire when he used a close-quartered attack against Lesnar.
Though many pegged that the former UFC champ would be best served muscling Overeem to the canvas, it was the Dutchman who initiated the clinch time and time again, wilting Lesnar with peppering knees to the body which eventually opened up the former WWE star to a body kick which wilted him to the canvas.
Dos Santos is a powerful and fast boxer but in the full gamut of skills, Overeem has more tools in his pocket.
Dos Santos' Speed and Precision Carry Him to Victory
After singing Overeem's praises, it's Dos Santos who should pull out the victory here.
"The Reem" has the best chance at defeating the Brazilian, thanks to his impressive array of skills, though Dos Santos has shown that his boxing acumen can finish just about everyone in the division.
In fact, both Carwin and the durable Roy Nelson are the only men to escape the heavy-handed blows of Dos Santos, who has stopped all other opposition in the UFC.
If "Cigano" can measure Overeem early with his long jabs and find his range, it could be a long night for the PRIDE veteran, who in the past has not been able to weather punishment well against savvy strikers.