The hype surrounding gargantuan Dutchman Alistair Overeem has yet to come to fruition in the UFC—a fact that could soon alter, presuming "The Demolition Man" prevails in his co-main event bout at UFC 156 on Saturday.
Polishing off dangerous opponents has long served as a staple of Overeem's game, and if the hulking 32-year-old can add another notable submission or knockout to his résumé against Antonio Silva, he could instantly leapfrog Junior Dos Santos as the top contender in the heavyweight division.
Overeem still blames the postponement of his launch in the UFC on a miscommunication with a physician which ultimately resulted in a failed drug test in April.
Delays aside, Overeem immediately thrust his name back into the conversation of possible challengers for Velasquez when the Nevada State Athletic Commission granted the former Strikeforce, Dream and K-1 Grand Prix champion his fight license on Jan. 8.
During a media call for UFC 156, the supremely confident Overeem, who last tasted defeat in September 2007, elaborated on once again having a title shot in his crosshairs.
"It's just a matter of time, in my sense. We still have one more mountain to climb, and that's Bigfoot. But to be honest, I don't see any problem."
Despite having just one fight in the UFC—albeit a TKO win over former champion Brock Lesnar—Overeem is unbeaten in his last 12 tilts (with 10 finishes in that span) and could jump to the front of a long line of deserving contenders with a decisive win over Silva.
That means potential title challengers like Dos Santos and Fabricio Werdum will surely become Bigfoot fans for a night on Saturday.
Not for a lack of ability, but "Cigano" and "Vai Cavalo" shouldn't put too much faith in Silva, at least according to SportsBook.com, which lists Overeem as a 4.5-to-1 favorite (-450).
Considering some of his signature victories, which came over the likes of Lesnar, Vitor Belfort (twice), and Werdum, a win over Silva wouldn't represent Overeem's most significant career triumph. However, besting Silva in impressive fashion could put "The Demolition" Man in line for a title shot in his next fight.
Regardless of what's a stake or what the oddsmakers say, Overeem remains adamant that he's staying fixated on the massive Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
"I'm always focused on my next battle. Winning the next fight is the most important thing."