For the longest time, the critics of former Strikeforce, K-1 and DREAM heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem have had much to say about the Dutch striker.
Some went after him for his striking ability, which they felt was inferior in full MMA competition; others felt he would be lost in the grappling realm despite finishing many of his fights by submission; and still others felt he had no cardio after an underrated performance in a lopsided unanimous decision against Fabricio Werdum.
Last night's UFC 141 headliner in which Overeem opposed former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar was one such fight that Overeem's most vocal critics felt would be the easiest loss for "The Demolition Man" to suffer by far.
Lesnar had heavy hands, a hulking physique, a well-documented wrestling pedigree, literally no prior MMA experience and a WWE career that ran from 2002 to 2004 that included feuds with the likes of Kurt Angle, John Cena, The Undertaker and Big Show.
What Lesnar's most vocal supporters failed to mention was that Lesnar lacked a refined striking regiment that could give Overeem problems, but they were quick in claiming that Lesnar would take Overeem down at will and score a lopsided unanimous decision of his own, but Overeem's striking had another idea, which not only scored a first-round TKO for Overeem, but also sent Lesnar into an early retirement.
If he can do that to the UFC's biggest draw, who was expected to tear through Overeem despite his long layoff, what does that mean for the rest of the division?
As hard as the rest of the division hits, they don't hit the way Overeem hits, they don't implement submissions the way Overeem does, and they don't make victories look the way in which Overeem makes his victories appear in terms of dominance.
Overeem has one more hurdle before he goes down as the best heavyweight in the world today, and rest assured that Chuck Liddell or Mauricio "Shogun" Rua didn't end their respective PRIDE fights with Overeem with nearly the same power as the power Junior dos Santos packs.
However, Dos Santos and the rest of the UFC "big boys" never got hit in the body with knees, kicks or strikes like what Overeem has delivered so far.
It's the overall skill set of Overeem, from his crushing submissions to the strength he puts behind his throws, that accompany his striking enough to where he can give any heavyweight serious problems in all aspects of the game.
He also doesn't just bum-rush to make himself look busy either; he picks his shots before going in to lay down the "Demolition Hammers" that we're calling by the legal term "fists."
Dos Santos might prove a story all too different for "The Reem" because Dos Santos is a monster all his own, but take everything that justifies the hype around Overeem into account, and it's not very difficult to comprehend why it's at least possible that 2012 might be the year that we start looking at the UFC's heaviest division as the "UFC Overeem division."
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