Photo by Taro Irei courtesy of Sherdog.com
At 6'5" and 253 lbs., Alistair Overeem sure does look like a man on a mission if his last fight against former UFC rookie Todd Duffee was any indicator, sending Duffee packing less than 20 seconds into the first round less than two months ago.
Prior to the win, Overeem was already on an eight-fight win streak that was extended to nine with his win over Duffee.
Overeem has worked on his stand up game in recent years, because, though you wouldn't know it by his stature, 19 of his 34 career victories have come by way of submission.
He ran through Kazuyuki Fujita and Brett Rogers before dispatching Duffee, and is looking to blow past Fabricio Werdum in the quarterfinal matchup, hopefully to face off against Fedor Emelianenko, a fight that I'm sure Overeem has salivated over for quite some time now.
While many might disagree with me on this one, I'd have to say the other seven participants in the Grand Prix may want to focus slightly more on Overeem's ever-improving standup rather than his always good submission skills.
Inconsistency. That is Alistair Overeem's biggest problem since he somewhat officially arrived on the MMA scene back in 2003, losing to "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell via KO in the first round.
Since that time, Overeem's record is riddled with uncertainty, winning and losing fights at inopportune times, and losing many big time fights within that time frame.
If Overeem is to have any chance of winning this tournament, he is going to have to keep his nine-fight winning streak alive, while finding ways to win, possibly against two of the tournament's favorites in Werdum and Emelianenko.
Not a single easy task ahead for the Strikeforce heavyweight champion.