Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
Should world-class striker Alistair Overeem decide to play the ground game against Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva at UFC 156, it could prove disastrous for him and his title hopes, according to the Brazilian.
"The Reem" recently revealed his not-so secret gameplan for when he squares up against "Bigfoot" at UFC 156 this weekend (Feb. 2, 2013) in their heavyweight showdown, declaring he will look to deliver a first-round knockout (KO) in "Sin City."
The former K-1 kickboxing champ gets high marks in the striking department, but, how good is his ground game?
According to Silva, it would be ‘stupid' for Overeem to take the fight to the ground because this Brazilian's jiu-jitsu is not to be messed with, and he has the black belt to prove it. On top of that, Silva warns "Demolition Man" he will not be intimidated by his size because at the end of the day, the height and weight difference is going to be minimal.
Silva's words to UFC.com:
"For me, everything is at stake in this fight. This fight will put me among the UFC's elite. For me, it's very important to be among the best and fight in the UFC. Overeem's standup is quite dangerous. He is quite technical and is also very strong. In no way do I feel intimidated by his size. I weigh 282 pounds like him. I believe in me, I believe in my standup game. I believe in my jiu-jitsu and I don't fear him at all. I respect him as a professional but I don't fear him. I do not expect him to want to take this fight to the ground. He is a striker and that would be stupid. I'm a jiu-jitsu black belt athlete. UFC fans have not seen my best yet. I'm improving every day. I'm correcting my mistakes and I'm looking to improve everything. Overeem will see the best ‘Bigfoot.' Not only can I defeat Overeem, I will beat Overeem."
After failing to impress in his Octagon debut against current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez back at UFC 146, suffering a brutal first-round defeat, Silva came storming out of the gate against Travis Browne five months later, knocking out "Hapa" in the opening frame at UFC on FX 5: "Browne vs. Bigfoot."
Though he is confident in his stand-up game, it would behoove Silva to avoid the world-class striking of the Dutch fighter and look for the takedown himself as early as possible.
Then again, one perfectly-placed punch from the massive hands of "Bigfoot" could also derail all of Overeem's title hopes while inching Silva closer to the UFC's elite.
What are the chances of that happening?