UFC 146 Results: Junior Dos Santos vs Alistair Overeem Head-to-Toe Breakdown
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Originally slated to headline this past weekend's UFC 146 opposite the champ Junior dos Santos, Alistair Overeem was forced off the card after a failed drug test and will likely be out for the remainder of the year.
But with the heavyweight king retaining his title after a two-round destruction of Frank Mir, there is still a chance that the Reem might get a shot at UFC gold.
If Dos Santos can keep his belt before Overeem comes back, this possible battle may be one of the biggest heavyweight fights in MMA history.
Here's the head-to-toe breakdown of this fantasy matchup.
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Overeem is a decorated striker who has won multiple championships in K-1 and MMA over the years.
Owning a devastating arsenal of powerful kicks and knees, there are few who can match the Reem's striking skills.
One of the few exceptions to that rule is Dos Santos.
While not possessing the same array of kicks that Overeem has, Dos Santos is by far the better boxer and will give the Reem a huge challenge on the feet.
Because of this, both fighters are pretty much even in terms of striking.
While striking has been Overeem's strong suit over the years, his prowess as a grappler should not be overlooked.
Having competed in the ADCC European Trials, as seen in the video embedded in this slide, Overeem has great jiu-jitsu and is a threat on the ground.
Dos Santos is a solid grappler as well, earning a brown belt in BJJ under the Nogueira brothers, but he has shown little of his ground skills in his MMA career.
Since Overeem has more of a history as a grappler, he takes this one.
Since grappling and submission skills go hand in hand, it shouldn't be a surprise that Overeem has the edge in this category as well.
With 19 out of 36 career victories coming by way of tapout, Overeem is a huge submission threat, especially with his vicious guillotine choke.
Strength and Cardio
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Two of the UFC's best-conditioned heavyweights, Overeem and Dos Santos can end things in a flash with their power strikes or out-technique their foes to go the full duration of a bout.
Overeem is a little heavier than Dos Santos but can match his speed on the feet, so this category is a virtual dead heat.
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Overeem: When the Reem returns from his suspension, it will be interesting to see how he bounces back from what may very well be a year or more away from competition.
Overeem has been pretty active over his career, so this extended respite from fighting could induce the dreaded ring rust that has afflicted so many fighters.
If he can shake off the rust and does indeed get a shot at Dos Santos, his game plan should be to batter the champ with heavy leg kicks and strikes while avoiding "Cigano's" heavy hands.
Dos Santos: In a fantasy bout with the Reem, Dos Santos stacks up pretty evenly with the former Strikeforce champ.
His premier boxing skills will be a huge factor as Cigano will have to rough Overeem up on the inside and batter him with uppercuts and elbows from the clinch.
As long as Dos Santos can avoid the Reem's lethal kicks and superb ground game, he should be able to hold his own.
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In a possible future matchup of heavyweight giants, Dos Santos vs. Overeem would be a huge fight, as both combatants are pretty evenly matched.
Dos Santos has the edge in the boxing department, but will have to look out for Overeem's kicks and knees. If he can quickly close the distance and rough Overeem up with uppercuts and body shots in the clinch against the cage, he should be able to take this fight standing.
Overeem may get desperate and look to take the fight to the ground, but with Cigano's takedown defense, this will likely be an all-out stand-up affair.
I just don't see the Reem derailing the Dos Santos train anytime soon.
Prediction: Dos Santos via TKO (fourth round).