Heavyweight contenders Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem met for the third time on Saturday in the UFC 213 co-main event. They first fought in Pride FC in 2006 with Werdum winning by submission. They fought a second time in the Strikeforce promotion in 2011 with Overeem winning by unanimous decision. Overeem broke the tie by narrowly defeating Werdum by majority decision inside the Octagon.
With a potential title shot against champion Stipe Miocic on the line, Overeem and Werdum were respectful of each other in the opening round. Overeem held his hands low looking to counter Werdum’s attacks. He landed the more significant strikes, but was outworked by Werdum in the openign frame.
In the final round, Werdum picked up the pace and increased his output. He dropped Overeem with a knee and had “The Reem” on wobbly legs. He took Overeem down and delivered a steady dose of punches to the body and short hammer fists to the head. In the end, it was enough. One judge scored the fight a draw while two scored the bout for Overeem.
“I thought I had the first two (rounds), and of course Fabricio had the third,” said Overeem following the fight. “The third round was a very good round for Fabricio. I had the first two rounds.”
Overeem fought Miocic for the heavyweight title at UFC 203 and came up short. His mission is to capture UFC gold and is now in line to rematch the champion.
“The hard work continues. I fought Stipe for the heavyweight belt. I didn’t get it. I doubled down and went back to work, and I’m not going to stop until I get the heavyweight title,” he said.