In the process, Overeem, 30, became the first mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter ever to capture the most prestigious title in the world of kickboxing. The hulking 6'5" Dutchman won three fights at the annual one night, eight-man event, which is the most coveted tournament in kickboxing, while simultaneously holding the Strikeforce heavyweight belt.
"The Reem" will look to add another belt to his collection when he takes on Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 this upcoming Friday night (Dec. 30). The winner of the match will earn the opportunity to next challenge UFC Heavyweight Champion, Junior dos Santos, in 2012.
Let's take look (with fight videos) at what made "Demolition Man" one of the hottest names in MMA thanks to his rise to capture the K-1 World Grand Prix after the jump:
After finally defending his Strikeforce title against Brett Rogers in May, Overeem was set to enter the final 16 in the 2010 Grand Prix. His opponent was Australian Ben Edwards. who exploded onto the scene with his GP qualifier, drawing attention by breaking a record by defeating all three opponents in a K-1 tournament in a combined three minutes and 28 seconds.
The Reem made quick work of his brave, but overmatched opponent. The game Edwards put up a fight for Overeem, but Alistair showcased improved technical skill, dropping Edwards with a well timed counter, backing him into a counter a placing an overhand right like a laser before finishing him off.
Overeem wasn't just a meathead who could bully talented guys around with his physical attributes, but a refined kickboxing machine.
Next up was Spong, a supremely talented kickboxer under the tutelage of kickboxing legend Ernesto Hoost; however, he is undersized for the heavyweights, and much of his experience is at a lighter class. In kickboxing however, the money is at heavyweight.
Despite bulking up, Spong was still considered an underdog because of the extreme size difference:
Overeem started his way against the more experienced Spong, who gave the Demolition Man a very tough three-round battle. Overeem lost the first round against Spong, but managed to capitalize and outpoint the Surinamese striker in round two and even effectively putting the eight-count on Spong in round three.
Next up, the always dangerous and also exceptionally talented stablemate, Gokhan Saki. Despite just been in an atrocious war with Romanian Daniel Ghita, Saki showed little signs of slowing down and effectively scored on The Reem early on.
That is, of course, up until Overeem unleashed hard kicks to Saki's body, breaking the Turk's arm and elbow, and advancing to the final of the competition.
In the final, Overeem squared off against the Dutch Lumberjack Peter Aerts. The veteran was reported to be injured (right eye cut), with Semmy Schilt being a potential replacement, but still made his way to the final showdown against the Demolition Man.
Overeem made a quick work of Aerts, knocking down the legend with punches and knees early in the opening frame. And with all his heart, Aerts couldn't get up after a 10 count. Overeem was crowned the new 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix Champion. Overeem's dreams came true, as it surely was the biggest, the most valuable, and the most important achievement in his career.
There's no room for debate -- Overeem dis what many people thought was impossible.
Can Overeem now top such an achievement by capturing UFC gold in 2012?