5 Defining Moments: Alistair Overeem

By Mark Raymundo Nov 21, 2018

Judging from his recent fights, Alistair Overeem has had some problems with younger opposition. He emerged victorious over Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum, but came up short against Curtis Blaydes and Francis Ngannou.

This weekend, he will have a chance to break the cycle as he faces Fight Nights Global heavyweight champion Sergey Pavlovich in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 141. As he prepares to duke it out with the 26-year-old Russian, let’s look back on some of The Demolition Man’s career-defining moments.

Side by Side by Side

Overeem was still holding the Strikeforce heavyweight championship when he entered the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix on Dec. 11, 2010. He TKOd Gokhan Saki and decisioned Tyrone Spong to set up a finals showdown with the highly-touted Peter Aerts, whom he had previously upset. Overeem defeated Aerts by TKO to win the tournament. Three weeks later, he faced and knocked out Todd Duffee for the Dream heavyweight championship. With the victory, he became one of only two fighters to win world championships in MMA and K-1 and the only known fighter to simultaneously hold three major world titles.

Completing a Trilogy

Overeem first fought Fabricio Werdum in the opening round of the 2006 Pride Heavyweight Grand Prix, where he succumbed to a kimura in the second round. They would meet again at Strikeforce for the promotion’s heavyweight grand prix quarterfinals, which had Overeem winning by unanimous decision. UFC 213 played host to their rubber match. The fight started slow but it didn’t take long until action picked up and Werdum nearly finished the Dutchman in the third round. In the end, Overeem eked out a decision win.

Dual Victories

The last victory over Werdum showed how Overeem can deny a comeback no matter how strong and determined the opposition is. Scoring a victory over the likes of Werdum, Vitor Belfort and Hunt isn’t the easiest thing to do, and Overeem did it twice. Among the three, Werdum is the only opponent he wasn’t able to finish.

Proving His Worth

After going 2-3 in his first five fights inside the Octagon, many doubted Overeem’s staying power in the UFC. But then he turned things around by staging a four-fight winning run highlighted by an electrifying performance over Andrei Arlovski. He started his attack with a crane kick and followed it up with some more punches to end the bout at 1:12 of round two, earning for himself Performance of the Night honors.

Bouncing Back

On the strength of his four straight victories, Overeem was awarded a shot at the title then held by Stipe Miocic. Unfortunately, he fell short in his quest and got stopped in the first round. After that devastating loss, Overeem was pitted against fellow K-1 kickboxer Hunt, whom he stopped with some ferocious knees. “The Reem” further proved his relevance in the stacked heavyweight division when he scored a majority decision victory over Werdum in his next fight.
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