Photo by Esther Lin for MMAFighting.com
Alistair Overeem and Antonio Silva will squash their humongous heavyweight rivalry tonight (Feb. 2, 2013) on the UFC 156 main card. Will "Demolition Man" destroy "Bigfoot" or will Silva teach the Dutch striker some hurtful respect? Jason Probst for MMAmania.com breaks it all down.
Alistair Overeem will return to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tonight (Feb. 2, 2013) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, looking to settle his score with Antonio Silva, who left the Blackzilians training camp when "Demolition Man" moved stateside and joined the talented team.
Overeem had his Heavyweight contender ascent interrupted by a year-long suspension because of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). His comeback is much-anticipated, and it's no accident that he's getting the perfect opponent in Silva -- large, hittable, slow-footed, Silva is there to play the fastball to Overeem-as-designated hitter. "Bigfoot" is coming straight and right over the plate, teed up for a highlight-reel knockout to create the justifiable buzz to give Overeem a title shot (and not much is needed, given ‘Reem's credentials).
Silva's best chance to is score a takedown, smother Overeem and grind away, using his weight, heavy hands and crushing top-man pressure. But, there are so many dangerous moats he'll have to cross that it's quite likely he gets slept before bringing it down.
Overeem, once a 205-pounder, ballooned up to a rock-solid 265 prior to getting busted for PEDs.
It will be interesting to see how much size he loses, or if he's merely gotten smarter about his regimen (which is either a lot of horse meat, as he previously claimed was his secret supplement, which makes you wonder what kind of horse, exactly, he was eating).
Will Silva be visibly intimidated by one of the scariest fighters in the game, as Brock Lesnar was? Will being completely outmatched in standup force him to resort to low-percentage takedowns, or even pulling guard?
Overeem hasn't been pushed in a fight in a long time; however, this isn't the night that happens.
Silva will be eminently hittable and lack the standup, and side-to-side movement, to defuse Overeem's vicious attack, which is as well-rounded as any heavyweight since a prime Mirko Filipovic. "The Reem" will land solid punches and kicks in the opening two minutes, causing Silva to go into a defensive shell, which will only cause Alistair to become more confident once he smells blood.
He'll uncork a vicious barrage as Silva covers up against the cage, with big-time knees and punishing blows en route to a brutal first-round stoppage.
Overeem via technical knockout
Remember, too, that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the UFC 156 PPV main card action, which is slated to start promptly at 10 p.m. ET. Up-to-the-minute updates and fight-by-fight coverage will begin to flow earlier than that, however, around 6:30 p.m. ET with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook and FX.
Jason Probst can be reached at twitter.com/jasonprobst.