Sherdog MMA Pick’Em users foresee a successful UFC debut for Alistair Overeem. | Photo: Daniel Herbertson
If the majority of participants in the Sherdog Sherdog MMA Pick’Em game are correct, then Alistair Overeem’s Octagon debut is going to be a successful one.
Sixty-one percent believe the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion has what it takes to defeat Brock Lesnar, the former UFC heavyweight champion, in the UFC 141 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday. Also a former Dream and K-1 titleholder, Overeem has not tasted defeat since a first-round loss to Sergei Kharitonov at the K-1 Hero’s Tournament Final in 2007. Unbeaten in 11 bouts since then, “Demolition Man” has finished nine of those contests inside of the first round.
Lesnar steps into the cage for the first time since losing the heavyweight strap to Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 in October 2010. Struggles with diverticulitis sidelined the Minnesotan for nearly all of 2011, his second extended absence due to the disease. The former World Wrestling Entertainment superstar owns signature victories over Heath Herring, Randy Couture, Frank Mir and Shane Carwin.
In the co-main event, 76 percent of players like Donald Cerrone to continue his hot streak against Stockton, Calif., native Nate Diaz. Having already beaten Paul Kelly, Vagner Rocha, Charles Oliveira and Dennis Siver, the Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts representative will attempt to go 5-for-5 in the Octagon in 2011 by taking down Diaz.
Other Sherdog MMA Pick’Em trends for the UFC 141 main card include:
• An overwhelming 89 percent of participants favor 15-time UFC veteran Jon Fitch to take down fellow wrestler Johny Hendricks in a welterweight tussle. Fitch, who has not competed since a draw at UFC 127 with B.J. Penn, was on a five-fight winning streak until his stalemate with the Hawaiian;
• Users favor youth over experience at light heavyweight, as 81 percent have chosen rising prospect Alexander Gustafsson to defeat Vladimir Matyushenko. The Swede has been victorious in five of his six Octagon appearances, while Matyushenko has won four of five in his second UFC stint;
• Nam Phan is the favorite to hand Jim Hettes his first career loss in a featherweight contest, as 78 percent of players chose “The Ultimate Fighter” 12 alumnus. Hettes has submitted all nine of his opponents to date.