Three Reasons Alistair Overeem Is My Number 1 Heavyweight In The World

Nolan Johnstone@@NPJmmaCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2010

      Ever since the fall of Fedor Emelianenko in June, the world has been claiming Brock Lesnar as the new Number 1 Heavyweight in the World. While I agree that Fedor may no longer be number one, I must disagree with Brock Lesnar being the one to fill said spot. Brock does have strengths, but I do believe there is someone, and perhaps more than one fighter, who is a better heavyweight than Brock. The true pick for the new world number one heavyweight in my eyes is the dangerous dutch striker, Alistair "The Demolition Man" Overeem. Alistair is currently the StrikeForce Heavyweight Champion, and is coming off his first title defense victory (which was very one-sided to say the least) over Brett "The Grim" Rogers. While being the StrikeForce Champ, Overeem also spends some of his time fighting in the Japanese MMA organization, DREAM, and also fights in K-1 Professional Kickboxing. With the future being unclear for Overeem, it is not absurd to think that he may end up fighting in the UFC in the near future, and in my opinion could become the first man to hold a heavyweight title in both StrikeForce and UFC. Here are three reasons why.

1. Size, Speed, and Strength.

      If you have seen a recent picture of "The Demolition Man", the first thing that you would have noticed is his size. Overeem is a beast, in all meanings of the word. He is listed at 6'5, and although it was only five short years ago when Overeem was fighting at middle weight (205 lbs) in PRIDE, he now weighs in at 254 lbs, which places him in the larger half of his weight division. While being extremely large and muscular, Alistair is extremely fast, dynamic, and explosive. Overeem is much bigger, stronger, faster, and better than anyone Brock has fought is short six fight MMA career. Brock's last opponent, Shane Carwin, is large (weighing in at 265 lbs), but Carwin gives up tons of stamina and endurance. Carwin is a powerful and talented striker, but is only a one round fighter, and is not nearly as talented as the K-1 level kickboxer, Overeem. Looking at other fighters who have faced Lesnar, we find many under-sized heavyweights. Min-Soo Kim weighs in at 254 lbs, but stands just 6'1. Frank Mir weighs in at 250 lbs, but also stands just 6'1. Heath Herring is a true heavyweight at 6'4, 265, however Herring is not a very skilled fighter. Randy Couture is truly a light-heavyweight fighter (205 lbs), standing just 6'1, and maybe weighing 220 lbs when he faced Lesnar. Everyone claims that Brock has the best combination of size, strength, and speed, but I personally believe that Overeem trumps Lesnar in the overall of those three categories, and more.

2. Striking.

      If you have watched any of Alistair's fights, one thing you would undoubtedly notice is his striking. In my mind (and I'm sure in the mind of many others as well), Overeem is the best striker currently fighting in the heavyweight division in all of MMA. Alistair's striking is not only exceptional in the MMA world, but also the world of pro Kickboxing. While professionally fighting in MMA since 1999, Overeem has also fought in 10 K-1 Professional Kickboxing matches since '99, and posts a decent record of 6 wins with 4 losses, including a very notable win over K-1 "Bad Boy", Badr Hari. Overeem is not the only fighter to fight professionally in both MMA and Kickboxing, other notables include Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipovic, Bob Sapp, and "EliteXC/KimboSlice Killer" Seth Petruzelli (only stating Sapp and Petruzelli for "fun fact" purposes). Overeem is arguably the most successful K-1/MMA splitter, with Cro-Cop being the argument. Some may argue that Brock has already beaten good strikers in the forms of Shane Carwin and Min-Soo Kim, but let's be honest, Carwin's striking is only above average, not at the level of professional kickboxing (not to mention the fact that Carwin is only good for a 2 minute fight), and Min-Soo Kim is not well-rounded enough to be fighting in MMA. But Overeem is a much more talented and powerful striker than both Carwin and Kim, and is also much more well-rounded than both fighters, and more well-rounded than anyone else Lesnar has faced. When looking at Overeem's 33 wins in MMA, it may come as a shock to some that the K-1 Striker has just 13 KO's. Is it because Overeem is not as talented of a striker as I might make him out to be? No. It is because Overeem also has exceptional submission skills, most notably a famously tight guillotine choke which could do more damage than a python (or any other snake). Overeem has 19 wins via submission. Alistair has a perfectly complete balance of striking, submission skills, and vicious ground-and-pound. When Overeem utilizes all three, nobody in the world in the heavyweight division can stop him. If Brock thinks his ground-and-pound is the best around, he can just ask 6'4  265 pounder, Brett Rogers, about Overeem's g&p.

3. Experience.

       At just 30 years old, Alistair Overeem is the perfect age for an MMA fighter, and has already racked up tons of experience. Overeem is younger than most of the top heavyweights in the world today, including Brock Lesnar, Fedor Emelianenko, Shane Carwin, Fabricio Werdum, and Roy Nelson (excluding Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos). He is younger than all those big names, yet he has more fights than any of them. Alistair started professionally fighting in MMA and Kickboxing at the very young age of 19, and although he is no Shonie Carter, Overeem posts an impressive MMA record consisting of 33 wins, with 11 losses, and 1 no contest. For all you math wizards out there, that's a total of 45 professional MMA fights. Overeem has also been involved in 10 professional kickboxing fights, with a record of 6 wins, with 4 losses. With 55 professional fights in his career, Overeem has nearly 10 times the amount of fight experience held by the aforementioned Brock Lesnar (and i'm talking real fights, not fake wrestling!). This experience has served Overeem well. He has become a very smart and patient fighter. Overeem's days in PRIDE saw him in battles against some of the most notable fighters in MMA history. This list includes (but is not limited to) Chuck Liddell, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (little Nog) twice, Vitor Belfort twice, Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua twice, Fabricio Werdum, Ricardo Arona, Sergei Kharitonov twice, Paul Buentello, Mark Hunt, and Mirko "Cro-Cop" Filipovic. Out of those fighters listed, it is true that Overeem only managed to come out victorious against Belfort (once via decision, once via submission), Mark Hunt (submission), Sergei Kharitonv (in their first meeting via TKO) and Paul Buentello via submission (knees to the body) for the then vacant StrikeForce Heavyweight Title (his fight with Cro Cop was a no contest). But I truly believe that Overeem learned more from those losses than Brock learned in victories against Heath Herring and Randy Couture. If we were to see Overeem fight Lesnar, I do not only think we would see Overeem win, but we would see him dominate. Look what the slightly exceptional striker with no stamina did to Brock Lesnar, nearly finishing him in the first 2 minutes of their fight (and some thought the fight should have been stopped). Overeem matches Brock in size (mostly), and exceeds Brock in strentgh, overall skill, and experience.

      Those are the main reasons why I see Alistair Overeem to be not only number one in StrikeForce's heavyweight division, but in all of the world. As for now we can only dream of seeing Overeem vs Brock, but if we do get to see it someday, I see Overeem being crowned the undisputed champion of the heavyweight world. Overeem appears to have a decent relationship with Dana White (after watching a youtube clip of the two sitting beside each other octagon side at a UFC event, and joking around with each other). Some of you may agree, and I'm sure that lots of you will disagree. But this is definitely open for debate, and discussion, so please leave feedback. These speculations and opinions are only part of why MMA is the most exciting sport to follow. Thank you for reading!