Countdown to Lesnar vs. Overeem: A Quick Look at the Career of Alistair Overeem

Cody SlovenskyContributor IIDecember 1, 2011

Brock Lesnar will be returning after a 14-month layoff due to his recent battle with diverticulitis to welcome well-traveled MMA and kickboxing veteran Alistair Overeem inside the octagon. 

Alistair Overeem has been involved with MMA and kickboxing for over 10 years. He started his career 19-4 in MMA, with him facing only three men that have a known name in the sport—Bobby Hoffman, Roman Zentsov and Chuck Liddell. He went 1-2 against those men, losing by knockout to Liddell and Hoffman.

After his fight at Pride 28 against Hiromitsu Kanehara, for two-and-a-half years he faced tons of top competition but only went 7-7 in that span, and 1-6 against fighters that were ranked top 10 going into the fight.

Overeem was given a shot at Paul Buentello to fight for the first-ever Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship. At this point, Overeem had not only never competed in the Strikeforce heavyweight division, but he had also not competed for the company in over a year and had lost five of his last seven fights. Alistair went on to win that fight, and also went on to put up a 10-0 1nc record over the next four years.

The difference in the Overeem that went 7-7 and the one that went 10-0, 1 NC is the fact that his level of competition dropped drastically once moving to heavyweight full time. The only legitimate top 10 fighter that Overeem had faced in that span was Fabricio Werdum, which was a fight where Overeem was extremely cautious. As a result, he was not only out-struck in the fight, but he also gassed out midway through the second round. 

Once the fight was over and all problems with the UFC and Golden Glory were resolved, it was announced that Overeem had signed with the UFC and would face Brock Lesnar at the end of the year. Since then, Alistair has set up training camp at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, which is a good camp to focus on wrestling, which also happens to be Brock Lesnar's specialty.

Alistair's big advantage in this fight will be his striking. He was the 2010 K1 World Grand Prix Champion.

One thing is for sure, Alistair has had an interesting career, and though he has come up short in the big fights, come December 30th, Overeem will be given his chance to silence the critics if he is able to defeat Brock Lesnar.