The UFC has announced an all heavyweight main card for UFC 146, scheduled for Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Casino on MAy 26th. The card features a main event title fight, with heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos making his first title defense against Alistair Overeem. Overeem has a slew of titles in other organizations to his credit, and he is the man responsible for sending Brock Lesnar into retirement. The books have the match odds as extremely close. Take a look - http://www.betdsi.com/live-lines/martial-arts/mma-ufc.
Currently, Dos Santos is the favorite with a line of -170, with the comeback on Overeem at +140. I expect the line to change as the fight approaches, and have a gut feeling that the action on Overeem will see him enter the fight a slight favorite. So I would hold off on putting money down until a lot closer to game day.
Despite winning the Heavyweight Championship decisively on the UFC’s biggest stage (the first ever card on FOX), Dos Santos still suffers from a lack of respect. Since November of 2011 when he KO’d Cain Velasquez to win the belt, Dos Santos has been relatively quiet, resting and rehabbing injuries in his native Brazil. Meanwhile, Overeem has been building up the hype for years, and his most recent destruction of Lesnar really put him in the public eye.
Overeem is a skilled striker, and he is massive. His height and reach will be big advantages over ‘Cigano’, and as we have mentioned over and over, the ‘Demolition Man’ has KO striking with fists, knees and kicks. Dos Santos will have to be careful standing, and if he tries to get it to the ground, he must avoid Overeem’s well used guillotine.
Since joining the UFC however, Dos Santos has been on a roll, KOing people with his fists, going 8-0 with only two wins by decision. He has shown the ability to end fights early, and he took out Cro Cop in the later rounds of their bout.
On the feet the fight will be interesting, and I have a feeling we are going to see a stand up fight. Dos Santos will not shy away from banging with Overeem.
Overeem is an interesting character, and he has a lot of charisma and would make a great champion. But I think in his having won multiple titles in K-1, Dream and other organizations, he has made enough money and seen enough glory. Not that he doesn’t recognize that the UFC is his biggest stage, but he is going to try and take that from a fighter considered by many to still be very hungry and passionate. Come fight day, it will be too tall an order for Overeem to take the belt form Dos Santos.