This past weekend at UFC 156, when Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva literally went apeshit on Alistair Overeem in the first 25 seconds of the 3rd round, the first words in my head were ‘Reem Job’. The Dutch fighter took a few serious punches before crumbling to the mat. Thank god for the referee, because Silva looked like he was going to rip Overeem’s arm off and beat him with it! That tragedy averted, we are still left with a lot of questions over Alistair Overeem.
It is well documented that he would face UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez for the title with a win over Silva, so that potential big fight was lost. His overall UFC record was 1-0 heading into the Silva fight, with the only win coming against Brock Lesnar.
Overeem is coming off a suspension for PEDs, and his performance will bring things into question again. The bottom line is that most observers noted his muscle definition was not what we have seen in the past, and he did not have the take you out explosion in his strikes that we have seen in the past.
The PEDs is a real question mark, and will continue to haunt him and the UFC. He came up through the RINGS organizations in Japan, and fought in Dutch events such as 2 HOT 2 HANDLE, PRIDE and K-1. None of these promotions test for steroids with any consistency whatsoever, if at all.
Let’s face it, he has always had charisma and he looks like a fighter, and he has always competed at a high level, but the start of his career was not very good. He dropped a lot of fights in spurts between good performances. PEDs or not, Overeem is a large man, and he likely had trouble making the 205 lb weight classes he was fighting at. When he made his decision to become a Heavyweight in competition, his career went upwards.
Overeem was paid $284,750 or some odd number like that, I assume the contract may be in Euro’s at an even number. That is just for the fight on the contract and doesn’t include endorsements and other potential sponsorship. That is a lot of money.
Because of his contract and his presence, he will likely get some time off (he is suspended anyway for the TKO) and then face someone from the mid tier of UFC fighters. This could be PAt Barry, Travis Brown, Cheick Kongo, and the top of that heap, Roy Nelson. Should Shane Carwin mount yet another comeback, they can consider him as well.
So here is an alternative – Alistair Overeem needs to practically start from scratch to prove himself again. If a pay cut is not possible, he should be matched very tough for his next fight, such as with a Daniel Cormier type. He will quickly find the alternatives out there are paying even less.