UFC 156: Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva Head-to-Toe Breakdown

Tim McTiernanCorrespondent INovember 14, 2012

UFC 156: Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva Head-to-Toe Breakdown

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    According to the Las Vegas Review-JournalAlistair Overeem is expected to return to the Octagon at UFC 156 and face off against an opponent he was previously linked to in Strikeforce in Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva.

    Silva and Overeem each have their strengths—ways they could each win a potential fight—but how are you to know which one has the edge?

    Check out this head-to-toe breakdown of the heavyweight matchup between Overeem and Silva.

Striking

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    This can't be a surprise to anyone.

    Silva has solid striking, and the majority of his wins have come via some form of (T)KO. However, Alistair Overeem is a world-class kickboxer.

    He has held titles in kickboxing and MMA, and he used his striking to get him there.

    Edge: Overeem

Grappling

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    As far as straight grappling, Silva has a major edge over Overeem.

    Overeem has sealed the majority of his wins by submission. However, as far as straight grappling is concerned, Silva has the edge. He is a black belt in both judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, while Overeem is not.

    Edge: Silva

Submissions

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    Overeem has the edge over Silva when it comes to submissions.

    Silva has the credentials to back up his pedigree, but Overeem has won 19 of his victories via submission, 17 of which were by legitimate submission holds.

    Silva has only three submission victories, and two by submission hold.

    Edge: Overeem

Strength and Conditioning

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    Neither fighter truly has the edge in this category.

    Both are gigantic heavyweights, coming in at 265 and around 260 pounds each. They stand at 6'4" and 6'5" respectively.

    As far as cardio is concerned, they're heavyweights. They aren't meant to go for 15 minutes, and their cardio is likely equal.

    Edge: Push

Variables

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    Alistair Overeem

    The biggest issue for Overeem will be his time out of the cage. He last fought in December 2011, when he beat Brock Lesnar by TKO in the first round.

    He was scheduled to fight at UFC 146, but was pulled from the card in light of a suspicious drug test. If he suffers from ring rust, it could be a rough night for Overeem.

     

    Antonio Silva

    Silva is getting thrown to the wolves here in his third UFC fight. He was demolished by Cain Velasquez in seconds, but earned a victory over Travis Browne after he injured his knee.

    This fight will be very telling, and we'll find out if Silva is legitimately a top heavyweight or if his win over Browne was a fluke.

Prediction

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    Silva has solid striking, and I don't deny that, but it is not nearly at the level of Alistair Overeem.

    Overeem has the striking, the power and the takedown defense to keep this fight where he wants, and to pick Silva apart until he goes down for the count.

    Expect Overeem to take home another fast victory. Silva has been stopped with strikes before, and he'll be stopped with strikes again.

    Prediction: Alistair Overeem by TKO in first round

     


    Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.