The co main event of the UFC Fight Night 26 card scheduled for Boston on August 17th features Alistair Overeem taking on Travis Browne in a heavyweight clash. Right now at the sportbooks, Overeem sits as a 2 to 1 favorite (-205) with Browne returning (+165). It is a match that Overeem has to win and win impressively if he wants to return to relevance in the UFC’s Heavyweight division. After coming over from Strikeforce and taking out Brock Lesnar, the sky appeared to be the limit for the ‘Demolition Man’, but the last two years have been anything but kind to him. And Travis Browne may just be the man in the right place at the right time.
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In the ensuing 2 years since he took out Brock Lesnar, Overeem served a suspension for PED use and gone 0-1 in the octagon, as Antonio Silva brutalized him. That match saw most Overeem supporters and believers abandon ship, as he looked out of shape and gassed out.when Silva closed for the kill, Overeem had nothing.
This is why Overeem really needs to win big. Allowing this fight to turn into a boxer vs kickboxer type of affair where you leave the fight to the judges just will not cut it for Overeem. He needs to take Browne out, and unfortunately, even in the Lesnar fight, Overeem has been cautious and conservative when going on the offensive. After a ring career of nearly 50 fights, can he revert back to the violent striker that he flashed when in his prime?
But Browne is getting a step up fight here for a reason. Browne’s lone loss is to the same Antonio Silva that mashed Overeem, but he is 14-1 and has shown himself to be a very capable KO artist. His best win is over Stefan Struve, a very solid competitor, but adding a scalp like Overeem’s to his belt would really take Browne to the next level. If he can keep Overeem at a distance and avoid big knees, he can eventually wear out Overeem and score the win.