Alistair Overeem is receiving criticism for his post-fight interview at UFC 169. Following his unanimous decision victory over Frank Mir, Overeem said, “I heard there’s word that Brock Lesnar is about to come back to the UFC. Well I’ll be here waiting for him.” The resentment is reasonable but you can’t blame him for taking advantage of a situation that could mean a high-profile fight. Continue reading “Alistair Overeem is the Smartest Guy in the Room”
Twelve months ago, we assumed Alistair Overeem would steamroll over Antonio” Bigfoot” Silva to earn a heavyweight title shot. We also assumed that Frank Mir was going to bounce back into contention like had done before. Instead, it was Overeem who was steamrolled by Silva and has been knocked out two straight times while Mir has lost three in a row in an unimpressive fashion. They will fight each other this Saturday at UFC 169 in a bout that could very well see the loser cut from the promotion. Continue reading “The Ugly Truth: Frank Mir vs. Alistair Overeem”
UFC 156 served as a lesson for long term planning in the fight game. Two anticipated mega fights that hinged upon a particular set of results were incinerated for the foreseeable future and perhaps, may never materialize. Rashad Evans and Alistair Overeem had one task, to win.
Super Bowl weekend traditionally plays host to one of the biggest UFC events of the year, and this card is no exception. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for UFC 156. Every fight on the main card could be a main event and is reminiscent of the early Zuffa cards before the sport’s ascension. All of the bouts have important divisional ramifications and it is all topped off by what could end up being the greatest fight in the history of mixed martial arts.
-Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall
It’s takes a clever fighter with the ludicrous speed to dethrone the likes of Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall. That fighter’s name is Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Joseph Benavidez was the odds on favorite to win the Flyweight tournament and was kept guessing and off balance for the entire five round affair. Ian McCall had more hype than anyone, going into the tournament and fought Johnson fought twice due to a judging error in the first bout that was scored a draw and some felt McCall won.
Benavidez brings to the table his explosive wrestling ability along with his power and athleticism. McCall is the more technical fighter who is very crafty and could catch Benavidez going in wild for a takedown or a submission. Both have tremendous cardio and are hungry to get back in the mix as they are the number 2 & 3 contenders in the world. McCall is preoccupied with personal issues outside of the cage in the form of childcare issues and separation from his wife which he feels will lead to a divorce.
McCall is a charismatic individual who could go a long way in the UFC, but he needs to find a way to put his personal issues aside to handle the razor sharp Benavidez. While McCall is dangerous on the ground, Demetrious Johnson was able to take him down pretty easily in their second fight. There will be some close calls in this bout, but Benavidez will have an easier controlling where the bout takes place.
The Pick: Joseph Benavidez by decision
The internet is up in arms over Brock Lesnar’s appearance at UFC 146 this past Saturday. Everyone wants to know: is he ditching the WWE, once again, for Octagon glory? The answer is yes. Well, at least until Junior Dos Santos was declared the winner.
In his retirement speech, Brock stated his plan was to win the title one more time and retire as champion. It’s been proven that if you can throw a decent punch, you can beat Brock Lesnar. Cain Velasquez, Alistair Overeem & Junior Dos Santos all fit this criterion. Frank Mir? Not so much. Mir can’t take a punch either, but what if he had somehow beat JDS? Brock would have been the first person in the cage to challenge him, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why he was there.
He knows he can beat Mir, and a rubber match between the two could end up being the highest drawing pay-per-view of all time. Their first bout drew 600,000 buys and their second bout drew 1.7 million buys.
Thank goodness Mir lost because if he had won, we would be reading about Lesnar quitting WWE for the second time and all the drama that would come with it. Brock is a fickle man and can get away with what most people can’t because he draws a lot of money. The funny thing is, after all the legal rigmarole, Vince would still take him back because, in the end, money talks.
Josh Barnett (31-5) vs. Daniel Cormier (9-0) (column I wrote for gerweck.net)
The tournament is an alluring beast that captures our imagination because it provides a sense of finality as to who is the best. The two fighters who remain have traveled down different avenues to reach the Strikeforce World Grand Prix’s finals. Barnett submitted Bret Rogers and Sergi Kharitonov by arm triangle, while Cormier was an alternate who replaced Alistair Overeem. He dominated the much larger Antonio Silva with fast and accurate punches en route to a 1st round knockout. Fun fact: both obtained their first big win in their ninth professional fight, with Cormier beating Silva and Barnett defeating Dan Severn.
The former King of Pancrase and UFC heavyweight champion will be the toughest and most experienced opponent in Cormier’s career. Barnett is super durable and is not afraid to take a punch to clinch and tie-up Cormier to set up the takedown. On the ground, Barnett is an assassin with considerable skill who craves making people submit with his catch wrestling appliance use even though he is effective with the ground and pound option. This is the third time Barnett has made it to the finals of a tournament as he won the Superbrawl 13 honors and lost to Mirko Cro Cop in the finals of the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix in 2006.
UFC 141 Lesnar vs. Overeem results 12/30/11 MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV
Diego Nunes defeated Manny Gamburyan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jacob Volkmann defeated Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Dong Hyun Kim defeated Sean Pierson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Ross Pearson defeated Junior Assuncao via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Jim Hettes defeated Nam Phan via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Alexander Gustafsson defeated Vladimir Matyushenko via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:13
Johny Hendricks defeated Jon Fitch via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:12
Nate Diaz defeated Donald Cerrone by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Alistair Overeem defeated Brock Lesnar by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 2:26
-Brock Lesnar announced his retirement from MMA during the post fight interview. Lesnar said he promised his family he would retire if he lost this fight and if he won, he would have taken the fight and retired either way.
-Dana White said in the post fight press conference that he had no idea Brock was going to retire and said that can’t fight at the “other place” for the length of the contract. Dana said he didn’t know what the length of Brock’s current contract is.
-Johny Hendricks won Knockout of the Night & Nate Diaz/Donald Cerrone won Fight of the Night. $75,000 each
(column I wrote for gerweck.net)