Brock Lesnar will enter the Octagon for the first time in 14 months. | Photo: Jayson Oldham/WENN.com
Everybody loves a showdown between two explosive behemoths. The UFC 141 main event provides just such a matchup, as the 6-foot-3, 265 pound Brock Lesnar collides with the 6-foot-5, 256-pound Alistair Overeem in a heavyweight title eliminator on Friday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Which goliath will find a way to impose his will?
Sherdog.com caught up with a number of professional fighters and trainers to gauge their opinions on the UFC 141 “Lesnar vs. Overeem” headliner:
Travis Wiuff: I’m gonna take Brock by first-round head-and-arm choke.
Nam Phan: I say Brock by decision.
Kyle Kingsbury: I got Lesnar with the endurance edge, smashing The ’Reem in the second with some nasty ground-and-pound.
Travis Lutter: I think Lesnar wins this one. I think his wrestling will be the deciding factor.
Cub Swanson: I think Lesnar is definitely worried about getting hit. That’s what makes me think he’s gonna win. He will quickly get the fight to the ground and get to the ground-and-pound finish in the first round.
Marc DellaGrotte: Battle of the giants. This could be a body building contest at the weigh-ins. Will the curse of the Octagon debut be a factor? Can Overeem keep it standing? Can Brock get it to the ground? Seriously, these guys are huge. Either way, this fight probably won’t go the distance. Brock is and always will pose a serious threat to anyone in the division, and he is only getting better. I have followed Overeem for a long time thru muay Thai. He has serious KO power and can do it with any weapon. I’m a huge fan of both fighters and wish them a fun, exciting fight.
Yves Edwards: This fight is all about the takedown. If Brock can secure the takedown and control, he wins. Problem with that is he’s going to have to do that and get the sub or do that for five rounds. Alistair has to stop the takedown and look for the KO. We’ve seen Brock take a beating and come back from it; we’ve also seen him get beaten and break. I think Overeem can break him, but will he? My pick is Overeem.
Eddy Millis: Overeem wins this by brutal KO in less than 60 seconds.
John Hackleman: I think it’s going to be Lesnar [winning] just by pure athleticism. I think he’s going to rush in, get the takedown, get top position and win that way. I think if he’s dumb enough to stand and use some of his newfound standup skills, he will get KO’d, but I predict that he is going to rush in: a bum rush, football rush, whatever it takes to get Overeem down, to get top position and pound it out.
Gabe Ruediger: It’s all decided by wrestling. How good is Overeem’s defense? Lesnar has great credentials and if he puts Overeem on his back, it’s his fight, and I think he will. Lesnar wins by superior wrestling.
Mike Ciesnolevicz: This is a tough fight for me to pick. My first thought when the UFC announced the match was that Overeem is going to kill him because Lesnar is scared to get hit. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that Lesnar is nearly 300 pounds of muscle and athleticism with a strong wrestling background and top Brazilian jiu-jitsu game. This fight is such a toss up for me. If it’s the Lesnar that showed up against Frank Mir in their second fight, then Overeem is done for. If Mir was helpless on his back, then Overeem will get destroyed if he gets stuck underneath. The other side of the coin is that Lesnar still is not very comfortable when strikes are coming his way. He tends to shy away from strikes. Overeem is brutal with his punches and knees. When it comes down to it, I can see Brock bull rushing after a few punches come his way, with Overeem using his Thai clinch and knees to the body. Overeem wins by TKO in round one.
Joe Duarte: Lesnar is a freak athlete, but he doesn’t like getting hit. His size has carried him a long way, but his fight with Cain [Velasquez] exposed him. Overeem eats real horses, medium rare, which will give him the ability to TKO Brock in the second.
Benji Radach: I’m going to say Lesnar by smothering/suffocation/ground-and-pound, unless he wants to have a standup war with a K-1 champ (laughs). Not sure that’s the best idea.
Michael Guymon: We all know that Lesnar would be a human piñata if he were to try and stand with Overeem. There is no secret where Brock wants this fight to end up. This is simple to call. If it goes to the ground, Brock takes it. If this fight stays on the feet, Overeem takes it.
Keith Berry: Overeem by KO in the first round.
Pros Picking Lesnar: 8
Pros Picking Overeem: 5
No Pick: 2
You can also contact Mike Sloan at www.facebook.com/mikesloan19.
Be sure and take part in the Sherdog MMA Pick ’Em game, matching wits and expertise with readers from across the globe ahead of the final UFC show of 2011.