Alistair Overeem has recently been released by the UFC following his knockout loss to Alexander Volkov at UFC Vegas 19. The former K-1, Strikeforce and Dream champion has been removed from the UFC's heavyweight rankings, indicating a change in contract status. The kickboxer sports a 47-19-0 (1NC) record with ten years of competing against heavyweight stalwarts like Vitor Belfort, Shogun Rua, Fabricio Werdum, Mark Hunt, Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Junior Dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski and current champion Stipe Miocic.
'The Demolition Man' has likely been aware of a nearing end for his career for some time. Following his victory against Walt Harris last year, Overeem told ESPN MMA:
"I see it (the end) coming. My first fight was in 1997, never had a break, always trained. So that is 27 of training, 23 years of fighting. After this contract, it will be 25 years of fighting and I think it will be a very nice moment after 25 years to not do that anymore"
As Alistair Overeem ends his tenure with the UFC, we take a look at three iconic moments in the career of one of the most exciting fighters in heavyweight history:
#3 Iconic moment- Alistair Overeem eats a punch from Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Alistair Overeem's split-lip is an iconic image by itself in the world of MMA. While Overeem put on a dominant wrestling display for most of the 25 minutes, the 'Surinamese' ultimately dropped him with a right hand in the final seconds of the fight. Although Alistair Overeem was able to get back to his feet, the referee called a controversial stop to the contest. Instead of what could have been a victory leading to a title shot, Alistair Overeem was left with that horryfying split-lip.
#2 Iconic moment- Alistair Overeem gets knocked out by Francis Ngannou
Alistair Overeem was on a two-fight win streak in the wake of dropping his title shot to Stipe Miocic when he faced Francis Ngannou at UFC 218. Francis Ngannou, meanwhile, was riding a formidable five-fight win streak of his own and looking to step up the rankings by taking down the heavyweight veteran.
Referee 'Big Dan' had to initially separate the fighters due to inactivity as Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou struggled for superior position in a clinch. However, within moments of restarting the fight from the center of the Octagon, Francis Ngannou connected a left uppercut which sent Alistair Overeem flying backwards. The follow-up strike that Ngannou landed wasn't necessary as the 'Reem' was already out cold on the canvas.
#1 Iconic moment- Alistair Overeem knocks out Brock Lesnar
Having already earned plenty of laurels under various fighting promotions around the world, Alistair Overeem made his incredible UFC debut against former heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. Overeem started to invest in the body early on and was able to wrap up the fight with a gut wrenching liver kick to the mid section. Brock Lesnar would retire after the fight before making his return at UFC 200.