UFC 141 “Lesnar vs. Overeem” Post-fight press conference video. Fighters in attendance: Dana White, Alistair Overeem, Nate Diaz, Donald Cerrone, Johnny Hendricks, Alexander Gustafsson, Ross Pearson and Jimy Hettes.
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January 1, 2012 at 4:47 pm
OVEREEM PROVES HE IS THE REAL DEAL
Confession time. I thought Brock Lesnar was going to smash Alistair Overeem. That was probably all too obvious from reading my pre-fight breakdown. The reasons were three-fold. First, Overeem had never before faced a wrestler like Lesnar, and his lack of elite wrestling skills left me doubtful that he could keep the fight standing. Second, he looked remarkably human in his final three 205-lb fights before moving up to heavyweight. Third, his heavyweight accomplishments, while extremely impressive, didn’t exactly come against the MMA elite. There were lots of former UFC / PRIDE fighters on his list of heavyweight victims, but none of them were still at the peak of their career at the time they fell prey to “The Reem.”
Overeem looked tremendous against Lesnar. It was certainly his most impressive heavyweight performance to date, if not the best performance of his career. He did not rely solely on his fists, something he has done in recent bouts against dangerous ground fighters. Overeem instead masterfully mixed in his signature knee strikes and ultimately ended the bout with a perfectly placed shin to the body.
It was the type of performance that should make his title challenge against Junior dos Santos a box office smash. I know that I’m certainly far more interested in the matchup after watching Overeem undress Lesnar at UFC 141. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see the oddsmakers label him the betting favorite in that bout as well. The champion can certainly stand and box with anyone. The question will be whether he can deal with Overeem’s knees and kicks. I don’t see either man bringing takedowns into the mix. Thus, fans of standup wars should be salivating with anticipation over the first heavyweight title bout of 2012.
LESNAR CALLING IT QUITS AT THE PERFECT TIME
I will forever wonder whether Brock Lesnar knew the fate that awaited him at UFC 141. It was shocking to see him choose to stand and strike with Overeem in his MMA swan song. I kept waiting for a takedown attempt that never materialized. Haphazardly grabbing Overeem’s leg doesn’t count. I’m talking about changing levels and freight-training through an opponent like only Lesnar can do.
Ok, Josh Koscheck and a few others can execute similarly explosive takedowns, but no other heavyweight has that ability. I digress.
One has to believe that Lesnar’s two battles with diverticulitis, the second resulting in the removal of a 12-inch piece of his colon, sapped him of his trademark explosiveness. I cannot think of any other reason why Lesnar didn’t at least attempt to shoot in on Overeem. I simply refuse to believe that Lesnar, head trainer Marty Morgan, or anyone else devised a game plan that focused on standing with Overeem. Lesnar is famously stubborn and loves to prove people wrong, but such a game plan would fall far beyond the realm of insanity, if Lesnar still possessed the ability to explode into takedowns. Lesnar may be many things. Insane is not among them.
My guess is that he no longer possesses the ability to explode into double-leg attempts like he did early in his career, thanks to his health issues combined with the fact that he is 34 years old. I’m convinced that is why he knew heading into the Overeem bout that if he lost, it would be his last in the sport.
If I’m correct, then Lesnar’s retirement is coming at the perfect time. Leaving on the heels back-to-back losses to Cain Velasquez and Overeem is nothing to be ashamed of. And it certainly is nothing that overshadows, or in any way tarnishes, his brief, alb
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