Alistair Overeem is as big as they come in mixed martial arts, both in stature and in star power. The average MMA fan hears the name Alistair Overeem and immediately envisions the massive, horse meat devouring, supplement filled male referred to as “Ubereem”. A man who’s stature has everyone from Arianny Celeste to Michael Schiavello in complete and utter amazement (let’s hope for different reasons). Unfortunately, the UFC has rained on the Ubereem parade in it’s relationship with the USADA and the mythical figure known as “Ubereem” no longer exists. For the 2017 version of Alistair Overeem, it is time to embrace these changes, and get back to the basics.
I won’t lie that I loved watching Overeem dismantle a terrified Todd Duffee to ring in 2011, but that is not the fighter that I think of when hearing his name. I think of a lanky, submission ace that could lock in a guillotine at any given time. Unfortunately for the MMA society, in those days Overeem could not come to terms with the UFC because he had dreams of winning the K1 Grand Prix. The UFC would not allow fighters to compete outside of their contracts, making his aspirations incompatible with the UFC until he accomplished that feat. He did this in late 2010. To win the K1 GP, Overeem trained with the best, and became elite in the kickboxing world. Additionally, he had to put on size. Anyone who followed K1 (R.I.P) knows a small man cannot win that tournament. Along with this, adding unimaginable size to his frame increased his appeal to the combat society around him. Overeem was fighting in Japan a lot, and there is nothing the Japanese love more than enormous Godzilla-like creatures. Present day Alistair Overeem needs to embrace the UFC, the USADA, and the fan base outside of Japan with a move to the light heavyweight division.
The last time Overeem needed the 265 pound heavyweight limit was 4 years ago at UFC 156 against Antonio Silva. His only losses since late 2007 are to natural heavyweights, fighters that don’t need to bulk up to fight there in Silva, Browne, Rothwell, and Miocic. It is a testament to Overeem’s skills that he is currently ranked by the UFC as the #3 Heavyweight (#4 in the WBB Power Rankings: WBB Post UFC 211 Power Rankings). On top of a disadvantage in “natural” size as I discussed, Overeem is one dimensional at this weight. He is a great striker, but he became a household name in Pride with his BJJ. Alistair has 19 submission wins to his credit, but none since 2009, likely due to his massive biceps. A one dimensional fighter can have success in the world’s top organization, but cannot reign as a champion. Lastly, Overeem’s losses come by way of KO when he does go down. Aging fighters will always see their chin deteriorate, but taking 40-60 pounds out of a punch can help slow this process.
I am not Alistair Overeem (incase you can’t tell by my bio pic, I’m more of an HBK type), so maybe a return to 205 isn’t possible at this age, but it’s worth a shot. The light heavyweight version has elite striking and BJJ. He is more talented than Gus, can out strike DC or submit him if taken down, and I dream of a match up with Jon Jones. I am not sure if he can keep up with the freak of nature that is JBJ, but he sure as hell has the best shot in my eyes.