Alistair Overeem vs. Bigfoot Silva: What Went Wrong for Overeem
Most high-profile fights, like the heavyweight tilt between Alistair Overeem and Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva at UFC 156, are won and lost in the depths of training camps, long before any opening bell sounds.
For Overeem, his inability to properly prepare both physiologically and psychologically to do battle with a world-class fighter like Silva cost him an opportunity to duel for a UFC belt.
Rather than walking the easy road and alleviating any potential excess stress, Overeem perpetually baited and belittled Bigfoot in nearly every interview and press conference leading up to their contentious bout.
In a nutshell, Overeem made it clear that Bigfoot possessed inferior skills in every facet of his game.
"The Demolition Man" felt so comfortable minimizing Silva; in fact, he daringly elaborated on multiple occasions about a potential encounter with champ Cain Velasquez in his next fight.
Bigfoot simply wanted respect, but Overeem never entertained the notion of giving it.
Instead, just days before the scrap, Overeem continued to motivate Bigfoot by hurling insults his way via MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani.
"There's no beef. I mean, he's just acting like a baby. He said, 'I want to fight him (Overeem), blah, blah.' And then when I see him, he's like, 'Hey,' (and) giving me a hug. He's just a fake guy, so I have no words for him. I'm just going to beat him up Saturday and let that be the end of that."
Once in front of Silva, Overeem spent the majority of the first round walking into clinches with his hands down. He struggled to find his distance but finally scored with some sporadic knees to the body late in the stanza.
Silva surrendered a takedown less than 30 seconds into the second round, but the gargantuan Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt protected himself sufficiently off his back, even scoring with some brutal elbows from the guard.
Bigfoot never deviated from his game plan to wear Overeem down in the first and second rounds and then erupt with waves of high-volume combinations in the third.
Riding the momentum from a few big strikes landed at the end of the second round, Bigfoot charged Overeem and met him in the middle of the Octagon when the opening bell of the third round sounded.
Silva then proceeded to deal Overeem a beating similar to that of the thrashings Chuck Liddell and Sergei Kharitonov put on The Demolition Man in Japan.
Overeem foolishly dropped his hands and underestimated a ferocious striker with an 82-inch reach and hands akin to grizzly bear claws.
Some fighters think they're invincible because of the drastic measures they take to prepare for a bout. Others, like Overeem, make the mistake of believing they're indestructible because of their name and reputation.
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