Photo by Esther Lin via MMA Fighting
To be the man, you gotta beat the man.
Throughout his combat sports career, Alistair Overeem has beaten a lot of men. He's held world titles, won kickboxing tournaments, the full nine. He just hasn't managed to win the most coveted prize in MMA -- the UFC heavyweight championship.
To accomplish this feat, he'll have to get through a former champion, Brock Lesnar, on Dec. 30, 2011, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at UFC 141. As he writes in his blog at Yahoo! Sports, "The Reem" has uprooted his life to make it happen:
I feel like I am the last one on the boat. Every major mixed martial arts fighter is here in Las Vegas or at least trains in Vegas some of the time. But I'm always either the first one or the last one on the boat, and now I have committed myself 100 percent to fighting for and winning the UFC heavyweight title in 2012. And that means I have uprooted my career and my life and - at least for the foreseeable future - and am now living in a house in Vegas. Winning the UFC heavyweight title, and defending it for years to come, is the biggest goal in my life right now.
There's an awful lot on the line in "Sin City" this winter. If Overeem defeats Lesnar, his prize is a 2012 heavyweight title showdown against freshly crowned champion Junior dos Santos.
So how does he plan on going about getting it? Simple.
I don't underestimate this man. Winning UFC belt from Randy Couture in his fourth pro MMA fight and defending it against Frank Mir and Shane Carwin was very impressive. I am also impressed by Lesnar's fighting spirit; he has twice come back from a very serious illness and fought very tough opposition right away. He obviously has a lot of confidence in himself in fighting me after more than a year out and surgery on his stomach, and I admire that about him, but I am even more confident in myself. I will knock this guy out. He is great at takedowns and controlling people on the ground, but he I can stop his takedowns and he is no match for me on the feet. I am going to rip Brock Lesnar apart, piece by piece.
That's an ambitious goal, but based on Lesnar's past couple fights, we know it's an attainable one.
Brock was bested by Cain Velasquez back in Oct. 2010 in an embarrassing performance that we later turned could, at least partially, be attributed to his diverticulitis not quite having cleared up yet.
He finally got that fixed this past May with invasive surgery that removed an entire foot of his intestines.
The good news, for Lesnar anyway, is he's recovered with no issues. He's at 278-pounds and looking as fit and mean as ever. That may or may not be bad news for Overeem, who says he wants the biggest and baddest Brockness Monster he can possibly fight.
Because, once again, to be the man, you gotta beat the man.
Anyone picking against "Demolition Man" in this one?