For fight fans, the Main Event of UFC 141 was supposed to be a matchup that conjured such images as “When Worlds Collide” or a head-on wreck between two speeding locomotives. Two forces no doubt collided, but one packed more impact than the other.
In this Heavyweight Title contention bout, where the winner would move on to face present champion Junior Dos Santos, Brock Lesnar was assigned the task of welcoming Alistair Overeem to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. While the UFC is foreign territory to Overeem, the sport of Mixed Martial Arts is anything but. “The Reem” broke into the sport in 1999, has a 47 fight career (36-11) and is the last champion of three organizations that no longer have Heavyweight divisions (Strikeforce, Dream and K-1). One title is missing from his prestigious collection, and Overeem made his desire known to Lesnar, as well as the world.
After landing a chin kick to open the round, Lesnar found himself operating in the standing game, only for his punches to find air. Lesnar attempted a standing takedown, but the grizzled veteran escaped with ease. Again, Overeem was able to evade Lesnar’s punches, this time responding with two knees to the midsection, with the latter shot briefly curling the former WWE star into a ball. Overeem was able to get Lesnar into his clutches, land two more knees to the gut, followed by a two-piece uppercut combo that proved to be painful.
Overeem went for a kick, which Lesnar tried to counter into a takedown, but again, to no avail. Lesnar threw another punch that found air and Overeem zeroed in with another knee to the ribs, followed by an uppercut, a left jab and a left hook. Again, Lesnar was hurt! Overeem followed up with a left kick to Lesnar’s ribs, which sent him crumbling to the mat, grimacing in pain. In retreat mode, Lesnar attempted to cover his head from eventual punches. A few landed, but the one punch that sealed the deal was a crouching right hook to Lesnar’s left rib and 2:26 into the opening round, Overeem got his first UFC win by way of Technical Knock Out, which ultimately sent Lesnar into retirement.
With a dominant performance in his UFC debut, Alistair Overeem finds himself on standby, waiting for the scheduling committee to announce when he will get a shot to add a fourth heavyweight championship to his trophy case. While I have plenty of time to complete my forecast, I’ll say this much…Don’t look for Overeem’s encounter with Junior Dos Santos to be as leisurely as this one.
By Antoine Hoffman