I’m going on record – Alistair Overeem right now is the most dominant heavyweight on the planet. After his dominant win against Brock Lesnar at UFC 141, Overeem gets a title shot against Junior Dos Santos at some point in the first half of 2012. This is an extremely favorable match up for Overeem, as is just about anybody on the UFC’s Heavyweight roster. In fact the three heavyweights that have the best shot at beating Overeem are not on the UFC roster, as Josh Barnett, Daniel Cormier and Fedor Emelianenko all have nuances to their games that give them a shot. The UFC’s wrestler/punchers don’t stand a chance. I give Fabrizio Werdum a chance too, but he is going to have to win a few in the Octagon before earning that opportunity.
In their bout, Lesnar tried one or two feeble takedowns that Overeem defended with no real effort. Only Velasquez among the UFC’s heavyweights has the wrestling to potentially take Overeem down, but Velasquez will have a 30 pound weight disadvantage, and he will expend energy holding down Overeem.
The problem with the Dos Santos match is that it may be what normally gets classified as ‘boring’. ’Cigano’ has heavy hands, as he has proven over and over, but Overeem has power combined with technique and a multi dimensional attack. One thing that many people would like to see tested in the UFC is Overeem’s chin, as he has lost at the hands of strikers earlier in his career. ”Cigano’ can do that if he lands, but he will find Overeem harder to hit than Velasquez.
Another factor is size. Without getting into the PED nonsense, Overeem is simply a massive heavyweight. He stands at around 6′ 5″ and weighed in at 263 lbs for this last fight. I don’t think he cuts weight and then re-hydrates up a bunch of weight, but with his length and the fact that he is at the weight division limit, Overeem is the biggest of the UFC’s heavyweights in physical stature.
Lesnar tried to get into Overeem’s face early with punches. Though he looked awkward, he was able to cut Overeem over an eye. ‘Cigano’ should be aggressive and try to land a big shot before the counter striking starts. If he gets it to the ground, he will have to avoid the guillotine, and he will have to try to do damage. This is likely to work better for Dos Santos early, as you do not want to let Overeem settle into his stand up game, and Dos Santos takedown attempts will likely wane as he tires and the fight extends itself.
Overeem also has that ‘it’. If I’m not mistaken, he will be the first European champion, and he has charisma and appeal in boatloads. Ladies and Gentlemen, MMA is entering the era of Alistair Overeem.