Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem (36-11-0-1) vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (17-4-0)
A lot of people think the outcome of this fight is a no-brainer, and that the UFC is giving Overeem a “gimme” fight before he challenges for the title. The problem is a lot of people do not notice that there has been a momentum shift in both of these fighter’s careers. For a long time many people have accused Overeem of using steroids, and whether or not that is what was really happening, the bottom line is he was caught. That dirty test could have caused a confidence shift in Overeem’s whether he shows it or not. Silva’s confidence on the other hand could not be riding higher since he saved his career with a huge win over Travis Browne. This could be one of those cases where a fighter is beaten before they even enter the cage.
Overeem would obviously have the advantage standing, but that does not make him unstoppable. He has his career in kickboxing, but he does not have to worry about the ground game in those matches. The last two times he faced competent, experienced strikers was the unanimous decision win over Fabricio Werdum, and the fight with Mark Hunt in 2008 where he choose to take it to the ground for a submission. The only time Bigfoot was truly finished on the feet was in his loss to Daniel Cormier, and while Overeem has the power to knock Silva out, he may not have the speed to catch him.
On the ground, Overeem is competent, but there is no way he would be able to outclass Silva. The question that remains is whether or not Silva can get it to the ground. This is the man that took down and pounded out Fedor, but the size difference is something that will come into play. If Silva can get it to the ground he has a chance to finish this with punches, as it has been seen that Overeem does not like to get hit (with 7 of his 11 losses coming by way of punches). Six of them were TKOs, but one of them was a tap out due to strikes.
The Bottom Line:
If you were banking on an upset on this card this is most likely the fight you should choose. The time off coupled with the questions that remain about Overeem’s pre-fight training will all be a factor. Silva picks up a second-round TKO for his second-straight upset.