Alistair Overeem's greatest UFC hits
This weekend sees longtime veteran Alistair Overeem take on Jairzinho Rozenstruik in the main event of the UFC’s 7th show on ESPN, and believe it or not, it’ll mark the 17th appearance inside the Octagon for ‘The Reem’.
The Dutchman has been fighting professionally since 1999, but there’s no doubt that his greatest successes have come since he made the move to the Heavyweight division in 2008. Since then he’s become one of the most feared fighters on the planet, and has held gold in practically every promotion other than the UFC.
And while Overeem hasn’t held the UFC Heavyweight title during his tenure with the promotion, he’s certainly proven fans who thought he’d be a bust after losing two of his first three fights there wrong.
Here are Alistair Overeem’s 5 greatest hits inside the UFC.
#5 Defeating Frank Mir to get back on track (2014)
Overeem signed with the UFC in 2011 as a big-time acquisition, as he’d held the StrikeForce Heavyweight title since 2008 and had won titles in DREAM and K-1 during the same period. He debuted with a big win over Brock Lesnar – more on that later – but despite being expected to go on to fight for the UFC Heavyweight title in 2012, a failed drug test derailed his career and took away his opportunity.
When he returned, ‘The Reem’ was knocked out in back-to-back fights by Antonio Silva and Travis Browne, and for many fans, the Dutchman was finished as a top level fighter. The UFC could easily have cut him from what was an expensive contract, but instead they gave him a chance to turn the corner against a former UFC champion in Frank Mir.
When the fight came around, Overeem more than lived up to his side of the bargain. He beat Mir from pillar to post across three rounds, hitting him with heavy knees and punches that had him stunned on more than one occasion. The Dutchman even dominated the skilled grappler on the ground.
The victory didn’t quite put Overeem back into title contention, but it certainly saved his UFC career, and it still stands as one of his best Octagon performances.