UFC 141 Fight Card: Why Alistair Overeem Is the Next UFC Heavyweight Champion
"The Reem" has officially arrived in the UFC.
Alistair Overeem made his presence felt quickly, as it took him just about two and half minutes to finish former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. Overeem delivered some vicious body kicks that crippled Lesnar before pummeling him with strikes to pick up the TKO victory.
This win has earned Overeem the right to face current UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos.
Dos Santos is currently 14-1 in his MMA career and 8-0 since joining the UFC. He just recently won the championship against Cain Velasquez at UFC on Fox 1.
Dos Santos has showed off some devastating boxing that makes for an exciting match up against Alistair Overeem's world class kickboxing. That matchup is sure to have all MMA fans on the edge of their seats, waiting for the explosive finish.
When the day comes for those two to meet in the Octagon, only one man will leave with the belt.
That man will be Alistair Overeem.
Overeem has the most versatile striking in the heavyweight division. Not only does he bring heavy hands and powerful kicks, but his knees from the clinch are unrivaled. The shots that Overeem delivered to Lesnar's body had me wincing with each successful strike.
Even though dos Santos has the ability to stop just about any fighter with one strike, Overeem has the tools to overwhelm him.
Overeem's only loss at heavyweight was against Sergei Kharitonov back in 2007. Kharitonov was able to stop Overeem with a punch in the first round. Since then "The Reem" has been an unstoppable force, with 11 wins and one no-contest.
Junior dos Santos has faced some tough competition in the UFC, but Alistair Overeem is the most complete fighter he has been matched up against.
No other heavyweight has the striking and grappling accomplishments that Overeem has on his resume. I don't see this fight going to the ground, but if it did I have no doubt that Overeem could handle Dos Santos' untested jiu-jitsu.
Dos Santos is going to be attacked from multiple angles and pushed back for the first time in his career. Overeem won't be afraid to come forward against him and will looked to punish him in the clinch as he did with Brock Lesnar.
The biggest factor in this fight will be Overeem's preparation.
Lesnar was a caliber of wrestler that Overeem had yet to face in his career. He prepared by bringing top-notch wrestlers in to his camp and adjusting his game plan accordingly. You could see how effective his low stance was against Brock and his wrestling.
The same preparation will be applied against dos Santos.
Overeem realizes that dos Santos may be the toughest boxer he has taken on in the heavyweight division and will prepare accordingly. I expect Overeem to spend most of the first round finding the range and waiting for dos Santos to make the first move. If he can get him to commit to strikes, he can answer with quick counter shots or lock him up in the clinch.
The damage that Overeem can do in the clinch will be something that dos Santos has never had to worry about before. The closest he has come to having to worry about the clinch was Shane Carwin, but even then it was because of Carwin's raw power at close range rather than his actual striking ability.
Dos Santos has had some great tests in his relatively short MMA career. He has certainly faced fighters with deadly striking and fighters that are bigger than him. He has taken on great grapplers and submission artists.
However, he has never faced a fighter that is a perfect storm of all these traits.
Overeem will come in to this fight with a 20-pound advantage and an extra 4.5 inches of reach. It is clear that his skill set is unique to any of dos Santos' other opponents.
Alistair Overeem is bringing everything he will need to the Octagon to beat Junior dos Santos, which is why when it is all said and done he will leave with the UFC heavyweight championship.
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