Alistair Overeem: A Retrospective
No Man in MMA has gone through as many phases and camps as Alistair Overeem. This past Saturday the fighter once known as ‘The Demolition Man’ found himself on all fours crawling away from his opponent before a TKO was called by referee Jason Herzog saving Alistair from further punishment. A one-time Light Heavyweight, Alistair would find himself fighting for nearly every major promotion under the sun until ultimately finding a home at the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
A little over 20 years ago on October 24th of 1999 (on my 12th Birthday) Alistair Overeem had his first MMA fight at the age of 19 defeating Ricardo Fyeet by submission at ‘It’s Showtime’ in The Netherlands. Over the next 7 years Overeem competed within Pride, Strikeforce, M-1, RINGS and 2 Hot 2 Handle (yes it sounds like a Fast and the Furious Parody) amassing an impressive 24-9 record. It was after this stretch covering a mixture of wins and losses at Light Heavyweight that ‘The Reem’ moved to Heavyweight and a string of success inside of MMA and Kickboxing brought him Championships first defeating Paul Buentello for the vacant Strikeforce Heavyweight Title and then winning the K-1 Gran Prix 2010. UBEREEM was born.
For a man who started at Light Heavyweight with good Kickboxing and a sneaky Guillotine the Wrecking Ball that was Ubereem was something far different with knees so devastating Kickboxing organizations changed their rules for him. Ten first round finishes before a stinker of a 3 round decision vs Fabricio Werdum in Strikeforce eventually got him into the UFC against an equally ridiculously sized human named Brock Lesnar. I was beyond nervous as I waited to see if our Super Hero appearing Ubereem could stuff the initial rush of the Albino Gorilla Lesnar. It was an amazing Octagon debut by Overeem landing a crippling body kick and finish the night with punches on the downed Pro Wrestler.
The Highs were High and the Lows were ever so low as Overeem would barrel forward bullying his opponents to the point of exhaustion and losing consciousness to (in any ‘Reem’ fans opinions) lesser fighters. Super Hero Physique began to dwindle and the mid 30’s Overeem a veteran of dozens of martial combat contests lay a 2-3 UFC fighter. But there was hope, a glimmer in the distance of a possibility that most veteran fighters can find themselves when their physical abilities begin to deteriorate. Alistair Overeem started fighting smart, controlled with specifically timed takedowns and counter shots. THUS a new Overeem was born! For the first time in his UFC tenure this new Overeem reached a Title fight. #StipeTapped
It has become a 50/50 life for Alistair Overeem proving that he still has all the skills to defeat any Heavyweight not worthy of Elite status but when he finds himself across the cage from a true-blue Title Contender the night will not end well for the one-time K-1 Grand Prix Champion.
Alistair Overeem has not laid his gloves down in the cage just yet and he will be the bane of every up and coming Heavyweights career because of it.