Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was one of the most hotly anticipated bouts on the UFC 156 card. There was a huge amount of bad blood between the two, and the significance of this bout to the future of the heavyweight division does not need to be spelled out.
However, when push came to shove, Silva let Overeem bully him around the cage until landing a deluge of fists that put Overeem out.
So what did we learn? More importantly, what did Overeem learn.
What Goes Around, Comes Around
I know it's not proper of me, being a journalist/columnist/blogger/whatever, but I was really, really rooting for “Bigfoot” Silva here. The reason for that was that Overeem was really, truly disrespectful.
It wasn't the Chael Sonnen-style hype-generating kind of disrespectful. Overeem really just seemed to be completely dismissive and condescending toward Silva. That didn't sit well with me.
So, when “Bigfoot” had Overeem against the cage, staggered from a huge right hand and eventually put him onto the cage, unconscious, I literally jumped out of my chair and cheered. I can literally count on one hand how many times I've done that in my sports-watching lifetime.
It was an amazing win—truly.
“Bigfoot” Silva is Still Not a Top Heavyweight
It was somewhat tough to peg where “Bigfoot” Silva stacked up against the rest of the heavyweight division. After all, he beat Andrei Arlovski. He wrecked Fedor Emelianenko. He knocked out Travis Browne.
Still, he lost, and lost bad, to Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier. For the first 10 minutes of the fight, that was the “Bigfoot” Silva we saw, and even though the fight ended well for him, I still think that right there is the real Antonio Silva. If Overeem wasn't trying to showboat and would have kept his hands up and stuck to his bread-and-butter clinch game, he would have won.
Still, an ending as exciting as that will have people saying he should be regarded as a title contender. That, unfortunately, is just not the case.
Dana White is Pulling Out His Hair (Or He Would, If He Could)
Seriously, the top of the heavyweight division is ugly right now. This is primarily because Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos have demolished everyone else.
The one exception to this was Overeem, and well...yeah. Because of that, there is no real satisfying top contender right now.
The only fighter with a resume to fight for the belt is Fabricio Werdum, and his schedule is filled these days with coaching The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 2 and then fighting Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. So yeah, White has his work cut out for him.
Lots of Exciting Knockouts Tonight
We've seen some solid finishes tonight, but the three knockouts to this point have been particularly impressive.
Francisco Rivera quietly entered the title picture with his big knockout victory. Tyron Woodley let everyone know he is a major player in the welterweight division. And now, this.
This is on top of some quality submissions. It's been a really nice night of fights!