UFC 141 Fight Card: Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem Breakdown

Matt Saccaro@@mattsaccaroContributor IIIDecember 26, 2011

UFC 141 Fight Card: Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem Breakdown

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    UFC 141's main event between Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem is being billed as the biggest heavyweight fight of the year. 

    Whether or not this is true in terms of significance to the heavyweight division, it's certainly true in terms of the size and reputations of both men. 

    So which titan will best the other when they square off in the Octagon at UFC 141? Read and find out!

Striking: Alistair Overeem

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    Alistair Overeem's striking is far more advanced than Brock Lesnar's. 

    The Dutchman is an experienced striker and is a K-1 champion to boot.

    Lesnar has no striking background and while he can pack a punch (both standing and on top of someone when grappling), his technique isn't as refined. His striking defense is lacking, as is his ability to fight through a hailstorm of punches (see his fight with Cain Velasquez).

    Lesnar's ability to deal with getting hit multiple times is his biggest question mark.

    He was humiliated by Cain Velasquez. The man who Joe Rogan had touted as a big, unstoppable viking during the UFC 121 broadcast couldn't stand up to a humble, doughy-looking (relative to Lesnar) Velasquez.

    Even UFC legend Don Frye let Lesnar have it, saying "If he wasn't in a cage he would still be running...you could have sent a cheerleader in there to slap Brock around he’s so afraid of getting hit."

    Even if Lesnar gets over his apparent "fear" of getting hit, Overeem will still have a tremendous advantage in striking.

Wrestling: Brock Lesnar

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    Brock Lesnar is an NCAA Division-I wrestling champion and Alistair Overeem isn't.

    While Overeem's wrestling is far from deficient, it won't be as good as Lesnar's.

Submissions: Slight Edge to Overeem

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    Brock Lesnar may have better takedowns and takedown defense due to his wrestling base, but it's Alistair Overeem that, in all likelihood, has the better submission game. 

    Overeem won the European leg of the 2005 ADCC submission grappling tournament. He has 19 submission wins to his credit, most of them via guillotine choke—a move that Overeem has perfected (although Frank Mir has his doubts).

    Lesnar does have an impressive submission win over Shane Carwin via arm-triangle, but one win pales in comparison to Overeem's submission record.

Conditioning: Brock Lesnar

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    Overeem's conditioning has been called into question in the past. If it was spotty then, odds are that it'll be worse now due to the increased muscle mass Overeem is currently sporting.

    Lesnar hasn't shown any conditioning problems in his prior fights, but it is worth noting that his cardio may not be what it should be because of a long layoff stemming from a second round of diverticulitis.

    Still, from what we've seen in the past, the edge in conditioning goes to Lesnar.

Strength: Alistair Overeem

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    Both men are physical specimens, but Overeem appears to be the stronger of the two, especially considering Lesnar's recent bout with diverticulitis. 

Training Camp: Even

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    Brock Lesnar's Deathclutch gym is alright but just alright. The fighters there would be great for strikers and Jiu-Jitsu guys to train with, but not for a fighter like Lesnar.

    Why?

    Because many of the Deathclutch fighters are simply worse versions of Lesnar (wrestlers lacking stand-up). At Deathclutch, Lesnar's MMA skills won't improve as quickly as they should.

    Overeem, on the other hand, used to train with the famous (and infamous, if you ask Dana White) Golden Glory camp. 

    However, he recently left for the United States and the Xtreme Couture gym. Unfortunately, for the K-1 champion, his mother's health forced him to return to the Netherlands.

    These issues may distract Overeem, so it's hard to tell which man has the training edge.

Winner: Alistair Overeem Via TKO Round 1

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    Brock Lesnar's striking defense and ability to withstand a flurry of strikes was abysmal in his fight with Cain Velasquez. 

    Even if Lesnar spent his whole training camp working on striking defense, it wouldn't be enough to match Overeem's level of striking mastery.

    Also, it's not as if Overeem is a slouch in the grappling department. His wrestling is certainly better than Lesnar's striking, so he'll be able to deal with a wrestling match better than Lesnar could deal with a kickboxing match. 

    How will the fight go down?

    Lesnar will do a bull-rush, Overeem will stuff the takedown and counter with a flurry of uninterrupted strikes that will have Lesnar doing what he did against Velasquez all over again.

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