Two of the heaviest hitters in the world stepped into the Octagon last night (Feb. 2, 2013) as Antonio Silva took on former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion and potential title challenger Alistair Overeem on the UFC 156 main card in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This fight was supposed to take place in the semifinals of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix last year, but the payoff was well worth the wait.
And the finish? One of the most unbelievable and amazing in years.
As expected, the beginning of the fight was dominated by Overeem as the former K-1 Heavyweight Grand Prix champ kept his hands low, using his head movement to easily avoid "Bigfoot's" slower punching attacks. Overeem was able to land swift straight punches and short knees in succession but every time he started to get something going, he'd clinch with Silva instead of really letting loose with his strikes.
Overeem wasn't able to get a finish, or even close to a finish despite clearly having an edge.
In the second round, "The Reem" surprised the audience and viewers by closing the distance and taking Silva down, slamming him into the canvas and landing in side control. While the Brazilian was able to retain his guard, Overeem remained in top position dropping occasional punches until finally getting back to his feet with 30 seconds left in the round.
Once on his feet, Silva looked inspired, attacking Overeem with knees and punches, although "The Demolition Man" still got a few good licks in as well. Regardless, it looked like Overeem had slowed down enough for Silva to hang with him in the stand-up.
At the beginning of the third round, Silva came out swinging and both heavyweight clashed in the cage center. Overeem kept his hands low just like in the first round but he didn't have the same pep in his step and Silva landed some short strikes on the inside to back him off.
As Overeem backed away, Silva scored with a head kick and pounced on the dazed Dutchman, throwing massive right hand bombs and connecting solidly on "The Reem's" chin as the former Strikeforce champion was out on his feet. Silva unloaded a flurry of uppercuts and straight left and right hands until Overeem finally slumped to the canvas in a heap.
For Alistair Overeem, this was his fight to lose and he totally blew it. He was in complete control in the first round and he was far too patient, not going for the kill when he was landing a good shot in the opening five minutes. He was able to keep his hands low in the first round due to his superior reflexes and being fresh, but he couldn't do that in the third after he'd started to slow drastically. He just doesn't have the physique to win a grueling decision yet he made this fight harder than it was by not just going for the kill early. When Silva landed on his chin in the third, all of Overeem's previous flaws were exposed, the poor defense when in trouble, the slightly suspect durability and a poor gas tank.
Next up for Overeem is a no-doubter, a fight against former champion Junior dos Santos. This fight is an absolute no brainer and will be extremely entertaining.