UFC: Why Alistair Overeem Is the New Biggest and Baddest Man on the Planet

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UFC: Why Alistair Overeem Is the New Biggest and Baddest Man on the Planet

What comes to mind when you hear "Demolition Man"?

No, it's not Sylvester Stallone's movie Demolition Man.

I'm talking about the baddest K-1 kickboxer and MMA powerhouse on the planet,  Alistair Overeem.

At UFC 141, "The Reem", displayed speed, agility, power and precision in dismantling Brock Lesnar. He has now earned the right to face Junior dos Santos for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.

There is no doubt that bombs will be exploding when these two warriors collide inside the Octagon.

Those who have never heard of Alistair Overeem may want to Google or YouTube his name to see the mayhem and carnage he created in Rings, K-1, Strikeforce and Pride. UFC is the only organization left for Overeem to conquer. 

Overeem came onto the fight scene at the tender age of 17 years old. He was a tall, well-toned fighter with outstanding Dutch kickboxing skills and an underrated submission game. He started in marital arts at 15 years old with encouragement from his brother, and fellow MMA fighter, Valentjin Overeem.

Valentjin brought Alistair to Chris Dolman's gym to learn self-defense.

Initially, Alistair did not enjoy training. He was getting beat up by guys in the gym who had more skills.

Honestly, who doesn't get a little beating when they first enroll into a fighting gym, right?

Nevertheless, when Alistair discovered Dutch sensations Bas Rutten and Joop Kasteel, he started to like training and found fascination in the martial arts.

 

Overeem was defeating fighters from all over the planet but after a string of losses in Pride to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Ricardo Arona and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Overeem knew he had to make changes in his training regimen.

He was over-training, cutting too much weight for a fight and losing strength and power. Creating a new strategy with the incorporation of powerlifting, proper nutrition and a change to the world famous Golden Glory Gym in Amsterdam, Overeem transformed from a good fighter to leaving people's jaws on the floor when he entered the ring.

Overeem began to look like a superhero character who literally popped out of a comic book. The first thing fans and probably even fighters, were in shock and/or in awe was his enormous growth in muscle mass. Speculations of possible steroid use immediately flocked the MMA community, but test results from the U.S. and Japan cleared Overeem of such accusations.

Overeem made his "comeback" at Strikeforce's four-man tournament in 2007, winning the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship. Since then, he has defeated notable fighters in MMA from Mark Hunt and Brett Rogers to Fabricio Werdum and, of course, Brock Lesnar.

 

And let's not forget his impeccable K-1 performances with wins over Badr Hari, Gokhan Saki, Tyrone Spong and Peter Aerts. Overeem is the only fighter to have consecutively hold both MMA and kickboxing titles at the same time. To do this is no easy feat.

So, what am I trying to say by giving these anecdotes about Overeem? 

When Brock Lesnar first came onto the MMA scene, everyone seemed to brush him off like a joke. However, Lesnar went on to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship belt and silenced many critics.

Overeem should not be brushed off or second guessed. UFC President Dana White even admitted this at the UFC 141 post conference. Overeem is a formidable foe for dos Santos. Both have experience, KO power and submissions to end the fight whether in the first round or the fifth round.

My own thought is that Overeem has a bit of an edge over dos Santos in the stand-up department with his vicious knee strikes and overwhelming power in the clinch. What dos Santos may not bring is the variety of kicks and knees that Overeem displays from his Dutch-style kickboxing background.

Should it go to the ground, it may be a short lived grappling encounter.

Many also forget Overeem's grappling powers. 

Overeem was the 2005 ADCC European Trials Champion, winning all his matches via guillotine choke.

Dos Santos is just as deadly as Overeem. He has only one loss in his MMA career to Joaquim Ferreira via armbar in 2007. What fans have not seen is how dos Santos would perform on the ground.

Overeem has submitted opponents and if dos Santos covers up from Overeem's power punches and knees, he might be able to catch dos Santos with his head down right into his brutal guillotine choke.

With all this being said, MMA is the only sport where anything can happen.

I'm betting on Overeem because right now, he is the baddest man on the planet.

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