Esther Lin/MMA Fighting
Alistair Overeem was supposed to be the next challenger to the heavyweight championship. He would have been too, had he not run head first into Antonio Silva's fists at UFC 156: "Aldo vs. Edgar" last night (Feb. 2, 2013) in Las Vegas. The shine, as they say, is off the apple now.
Boy, that was painful.
I'm not just talking about the punches Antonio Silva delivered straight to Alistair Overeem's skull last night (Sat., Feb. 2, 2013) at UFC 156: "Aldo vs. Edgar" in Las Vegas, Nevada, though that was a terrifying sight to behold. "Bigfoot" brazenly blitzing his foe was like watching a gorilla smack around a baby, and it was not a pretty sight.
No, I'm talking about seeing "The Reem" come crashing back down to Earth along with the hopes and dreams of his many, many fans.
The Dutchman was supposed to be the next big thing at heavyweight in the UFC. He was earmarked for a title shot against division champion Cain Velasquez sometime later this year, and all he had to do to get there was take care of Silva, a solid fighter but one who came up short in a couple of the biggest bouts of his career.
But he failed. Spectacularly so.
After two rounds of refusing to respect the power possessed by his Brazilian foe, Overeem got just a bit too cocky. He stuck his chin out just a bit too far and kept his hands just a bit too low. And before we knew it, he was flat on his ass peering up at "Bigfoot" with that dazed and confused look in his eyes.
Look at him. The lights were on but nobody was home.
So what does this mean? The harsh reality the mixed martial arts (MMA) fan base is coming to realize this morning after is that Overeem may not have ever been good enough to swim with the sharks in the UFC heavyweight division. Sure, he pasted Brock Lesnar back at UFC 141 in Dec. 2011 but so did John Cena at Extreme Rules last year.
My colleague Jesse Holland believes Overeem's next move should be a match-up against former champion Junior dos Santos. And that's fine if Holland's aim is to send "The Reem" packing from the world's largest fight promotion.
Because he's not winning that fight.
He's not beating Velasquez either, and maybe he doesn't beat Daniel Cormier. Hell, a heavyweight Jon Jones would likely take care of business against "Demolition Man." There's room for improvement, sure, but Overeem is 32-years-old with a lot of wear on that enhanced body of his.
If there was a time to make his move and prove he belongs among the top names in the fight game, last night was it. The shine is off the apple now and it's time to accept Overeem for what he probably always was and we just didn't want to admit.
Good but not great.
For complete results and all the latest and greatest from UFC 156 click here.