The former Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight champion as well as K-1 Grand Prix champion in kickboxing, mowed through Brock Lesnar like a knife through butter.
Questions were raised about Overeem’s training, his preparedness and how he would handle the spotlight that had wilted so many before him stepping into the UFC Octagon for the first time.
He answered all of that within seconds of the start of the fight, stalking Lesnar down and showing no fear of a potential takedown.
The former UFC heavyweight champion grabbed at Overeem’s leg for a brief moment, looking for a takedown, but the giant Dutchman shrugged him off and it was all downhill from there.
“I trained my takedown defense a lot, Brock is an excellent wrestler so I had to step up my game,” Overeem stated.
Like a lion seeing a wounded gazelle, Overeem’s confidence grew the moment he stuffed Lesnar’s takedowns, and when he started moving forward it was with deadly intention.
Overeem blasted Lesnar to the body with huge knee strikes and with each blow, Lesnar’s midsection took an atomic level shot, rattling his insides.
“Nice little K-1 body kick,” Overeem said after the fight.
Finally, Overeem uncorked a huge kick to the body that landed and almost like a delayed reaction, Lesnar felt the full blunt force trauma and fell to his knees.
Overeem followed up with a barrage of strikes, but the fight was already over at that point. Referee Mario Yamasaki mercifully stepped in to stop the carnage, and in less than one round, Alistair Overeem earned a UFC title shot and showed everyone just how dangerous a fighter he truly can be.
When you look at world class striking, there have been a lot of K-1 level fighters to transition into MMA. Semmy Schilt gave it a go, and Mark Hunt is still competing in the UFC.
There is no doubt however that Alistair Overeem is by far the most accomplished fighter to transition between MMA and kickboxing, and now he’s earned a shot at the last title remaining on his quest to greatness…the UFC heavyweight belt.
“Junior Dos Santos is next,” said a confident Overeem.
Following a devastating defeat after more than a year away from the sport, Brock Lesnar was candid and honest in his post fight speech where the one time NCAA champion called it a career.
“My hat’s off to Alistair Overeem. I’ve had a really difficult couple of years with my disease. I’m going to officially say tonight was the last time you’ll see me in the Octagon,” Lesnar said.
“I want to thank the Fertittas, Dana White, Brock Lesnar is officially retired. I promised my wife and my kids if I won this fight that I would get a title shot and then that would be my last one, but if I lost tonight (I would retire), everybody you’ve been great.”
When it’s all said and done, Brock Lesnar walks away as a 5-3 professional fighter and a former UFC heavyweight champion, but the impact he had on the sport won’t soon be forgotten. He leaves a legacy that includes being one of the biggest draws in the history of the sport, and a fighter that brought a lot of new eyeballs to MMA.
The page has turned on Lesnar’s career however, and he’ll begin a new chapter where he says goodbye to MMA for the last time.
Now, the question is can Alistair Overeem’s reign of destruction continue with Junior Dos Santos? It may not be long before we all find out.