Strikeforce Heavyweight bout: Antonio Silva vs. Valentijn Overeem
Odds: (Silva / Overeem )
Betting Pick: Silva
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In an interesting Heavyweight showdown, long-time veteran Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva will square off with Valtentijn Overeem, the brother of Strikeforce Heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem. While Valentijn is nowhere near as effective as his brother, he does have some solid punching and good submissions, so this is not a walkover fight for Silva, even if he is favored heavily.
Overeem, a veteran of almost 15 years in the sport, is something of an anomaly. On the ground, he has a good submission attack but basically no submission defense, which is problematic because his attempts to finish frequently leave him open to losing by submission himself. Similarly, he has good punching and powerful kicks, but not much defense and a questionable chin. He is the kind of guy who can finish any given fight, and get finished just as easily. That inconsistency has kept him from being a top figure at any point in his career, but he is nevertheless versatile and dangerous.
Silva, for his part, is a somewhat lumbering and immobile fighter who is surprisingly effective anyway. With heavy hands, good wrestling, and quality submissions, Silva is well-rounded and effective even if he is not the type of guy who is going to overwhelm opponents in any one area. He should have the edge in almost every area against Overeem, though, so he just needs to make sure not to get overzealous and fall into a trap.
Obviously, I think this matchup favors Silva. He is the better striker and definitely the better wrestler, and if it goes to the ground he will have the advantageous position and is more than good enough to hold off Overeem’s submission attempts. In addition, Overeem’s submission defense is notoriously spotty, so Silva should be able to wear him down and put him away on the ground. Silva by submission.
Prediction: Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva via third round rear naked choke.