UFC Heavyweight bout: Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem
Odds: (+120 Lesnar / -150 Overeem )
Betting Pick: Overeem
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In the main event, former Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will meet former Strikeforce Heavyweight champion and K-1 World Grand Prix winner Alistair Overeem in a titanic Heavyweight matchup. These are two of the biggest and most devastating big men in the sport, and with the next shot at Junior dos Santos’ Heavyweight championship on the line, this has all the makings of a great fight and a fitting end to one of the most exciting years in UFC history.
Former WWE superstar and UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar is a huge physical specimen and a world-class amateur wrestler. His massive bulk and physical strength, coupled with his wrestling technique, make him nearly impossible to deal with when he is in top position. He isn’t a great submission grappler yet but he has added some submissions to his game over the years. Similarly, he isn’t a very technical boxer, but he does have significant power and his massive hands actually make his punches harder to block. There is no question that Lesnar, who is notoriously unfond of taking punches, will try to ground a world-class striker like Overeem almost instantly. Overeem is actually really underrated on the ground, but no one on Earth is going to be effective underneath the landslide of muscles that is Brock Lesnar. If Lesnar can take Overeem down early and avoid getting clipped, he has all the tools to maul him on the ground.
Alistair Overeem is a long-time veteran of both MMA and K-1, but is actually making his UFC debut after capturing Strikeforce’s Heavyweight crown. Overeem is one of the most technical and powerful strikers in the world, with incredible punching and a destructive clinch game. Despite his well-deserved reputation as a striker, Overeem is actually a very underrated wrestler and submission grappler as well. His guillotine choke is especially effective, which is something that Lesnar is really going to have to look out for. It would be ridiculous for Overeem to try and wrestle offensively, but his takedown defense is going to be crucial to his success. On the feet Overeem is going to enjoy a huge advantage in speed, technique, and accuracy against an opponent who does not react well to being punched at all. If Overeem can stuff Lesnar’s double leg attempts, he will pick him apart with relative ease.
Although Lesnar is a powerful puncher and Overeem is an accomplished submission grappler, in many ways this is a classic striker vs. wrestler matchup. On the feet, Overeem will tear Lesnar to shreds. He is faster, more technical, more accurate, has better defense, and has way more effective kicks. On the other hand, if Lesnar can secure takedowns and force Overeem to work off his back, he will probably destroy Overeem with ground and pound. Basically this fight comes down to whether Overeem can start landing punches before Lesnar secures a takedown. When two guys this big and powerful meet, it probably isn’t going to be a very long fight. Ultimately, I think Lesnar’s inability to deal with punches and the fact that he is going to have to telegraph his takedowns pretty severely make Overeem the favorite here. Lesnar is extremely strong and a great wrestler, but if he is having to shoot from way outside and telegraph his shots, Overeem’s wrestling is more than good enough to keep him at bay. I just don’t think Lesnar is equipped to deal with a striker on Overeem’s level who also has some wrestling of his own. I think this is going to look like the first round of Lesnar’s fight with Shane Carwin except about 3 minutes shorter. Overeem by T/KO.
Prediction: Alistair ” Demolition Man” Overeem by first round T/KO.
Note: Depending on the Odds a bet on Lesnar is worth checking out. If he can take Overeem down early he has a great chance of pounding him out.