The speculation about this bout picked up earlier in the week when UFC President Dana White stated that certain hurdles with Overeem’s Golden Glory management team had been overcome. Specifically, that Golden Glory had dropped certain requests for payment arrangements and that Overeem would receive his pay directly.
I had hoped this match would happen, and that it could be fastracked to the November 12th FOX debut show, but Lesnar needed more recovery time from his latest operation, and a December 30th date could obviously use all the bells and whistles of the FOX agreement to hype what will be an enormous match.
This will be a difficult match to pick a winner, so the handicappers are going to have their hands full on this one. It’s precisely the type of match the mainstream public will want to see. It is hard to think of two more impressive physical specimens than Lesnar and Overeem.
It would also be hard to match guys with such different sets of skills, and both with holes in their games right where the other needs it.
Lesnar obviously brings his wrestling, and in my opinion he is going to need it. Overeem has been using his athleticism to stay up in his bouts, but because of his kickboxing background, his footwork still leaves him susceptible to a takedown specialist. Lesnar’s striking and stand up fighting is just not near the level needed to chance a stand up fight here, and it won’t be by fight time.
Overeem is an absolutely brutal striker, and we have seen that in the heat of battle Lesnar has at times not liked getting hit. Well he certainly won’t like it if Overeem hits him! But both the wrestling and submission game Overeem has shown have been more based on athleticism, as I mentioned, than real skill. The Dutchman has a reputation as a bit of a free spirit, and that is based partly on his training being done his way.
Overeem will have a big experience advantage in MMA and real fight competition, and that needs to be factored in. There is another interesting X factor here as well.
Apparently this will be a five round bout, despite no title being in play. The UFC recently started with 5 round non title bouts, and the extra two rounds are going to be a big factor.
That both men will tire is almost unquestionable. But who will tire first? The extra time periods will play no bigger role than in a bout like this one, with two musclebound heavyweights. Both men will likely carry the pressure of trying to end the fight before the 25 minutes. Likely that will be the key to the fight, because the later rounds could get sloppy and ugly.