Are we seeing the best version of Alistair Overeem?

UFC Fight Night: Overeem v Arlovski
UFC Fight Night: Overeem v Arlovski
Shantanu Mayenkar

From getting knocked out into oblivion by Francis Ngannou to rising from the ashes with incredible performances, Alistair Overeem (47-18-0,1NC) proved that age is just a number. Despite being 40 years old, Overeem has claimed victories over some of the best heavyweights in his last few fights.

On September 5, Alistair Overeem ended Augusto Sakai’s incredible six-fight winning streak. However, it wasn’t an easy victory for him. The Dutchman faced some adversity in the early rounds with Sakai’s striking. But as the fight progressed, Overeem discovered Sakai’s kryptonite and perhaps his greatest strength nowadays — the takedown.

But how did that happen? Wasn’t he a lethal striker who won the K-1 Grand Prix in 2010? Didn’t he stop Brock Lesnar with his striking? Well, times have changed and so did Overeem. He is no longer rushing for the finish; he simply let it come to him.

UFC Fight Night: Overeem v Sakai
UFC Fight Night: Overeem v Sakai

Unlike before, Overeem is more patient and probably understands the fact that his body and mind need to be in synchrony. At this age, he is certainly not in his physical prime. “Ubereem” is gone and he is not coming back. What fans are left with is a deadly veteran with experience and patience.

Alistair Overeem hits his 'mental prime'

After his back-to-back losses to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes, Alistair Overeem amassed a record of 4-1. His defeat to Jairzinho Rozenstruik was rather controversial. “The Demolition Man” was winning the fight until the fifth round. But Rozenstruik caught Overeem and won the fight via knockout.

Unfortunately for Alistair Overeem, the fight was stopped prematurely. The replays showed that he wasn’t truly knocked out. As Rozenstruik moved away, Overeem was getting up on his feet. If the referee waited for a few seconds, the Dutchman would have been on a five-fight win streak.

Regardless of the loss, Alistair Overeem took on a motivated Walt Harris and defeated him in the second round. Lately, he defeated Augusto Sakai in the fifth. He is currently ranked No.5 in the Heavyweight division and he might have another run at the title soon.

It’s not an impossible task to win gold at this age. Many fighters have done it before and based on his post-fight interview at UFC Vegas 9, it seems like he is in a good place.

If the UFC heavyweight title is his end goal, then he will need to work extra hard for it, as three of the contenders in the top four has already defeated him, including the champion, Stipe Miocic.

For now, he is a threat to anybody standing across the cage. The new version of Alistair Overeem might not be in his physical prime but his mental state can certainly land him another title shot.

Edited by Alan John
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