High stakes were on the line when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweights Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir went to war on the UFC 169 pay-per-view (PPV) main car last night (Sat., Feb. 1, 2014) from Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Both fighters came into the bout with mixed martial arts (MMA) losing streaks hanging over their heads.
Overeem was last seen getting knocked out by Travis Browne at UFC Fight Night 26 after having "Hapa" in serious danger from an early barrage. Prior to that, "The Reem" lost another fight he was winning, ending up on the wrong up of an Antonio Silva highlight reel knockout at UFC 156. The former Strikeforce heavyweight and K-1 World Grand Prix champion was in dire need of a win.
Luckily for him, Mir needed one even more.
Former two-time UFC heavyweight champ Mir was on the first three-fight losing streak of his storied career, most recently getting stopped by Josh Barnett at UFC 164. His dropped his previous two bouts to top competition in Daniel Cormier and Junior dos Santos.
And that snide was destined to continue, as Overeem battered Mir in a wholly one-sided beating. To watch full Alistair Overeem vs. Frank Mir full fight video highlights from UFC 169 last night click here.
Let's take a look back at Overeem's dominance.
The fight started with "Reem" landing a solid body shot. Mir missed a big right and Overeem not surprisingly looked to clinch. Overeem wobbled Mir briefly with a left hook, and then unleashed knees to the body and head. Overeem swarmed on a downed Mir with elbows, knees, and punches, but Mir survived to get back to his feet only to hit the ground again. Overeem closed a dominant first round by smothering Mir.
In the second, Overeem tossed Mir to the canvas with ease, clinching him up against the fence. Mir fought back with a strong takedown of his own, looking for a guillotine choke. Overeem got out to rain down punches and elbows. Mir looked to lure Overeem into his guard until the action was stood back up. It was another dominant round for Overeem, but we'd seen that before from the hulking kickboxer.
When the last round began Overeem looked noticeably fresher than in preceding fights. He landed in top control to continue scoring with ground and pound. Mir missed a takedown and looked out of energy. His face was bloodied as he continued to eat numerous elbows and punches. Overeem finished the fight with a couple big shots to lock up a very clear-cut unanimous decision.
Overeem silenced his critics, at least for the time being. His cardio did look vastly improved from his losses to Browne and Silva. He beat Mir hands down, but so has every opponent who's faced him recently.
Overeem had ample opportunities to finish a beaten Mir; he just couldn't capitalize. After the fight Overeem called out for a rematch with Brock Lesnar, the former UFC heavyweight champ whom he destroyed in his UFC debut way back at UFC 141 in late 2011.
However, Lesnar is currently plying his wares over in WWE, so a more likely opponent for Overeem would be former champion Junior dos Santos. Overeem has had unfinished business with "Cigano" ever since "Reem" failed a UFC 146 pre-fight drug screen for elevated testosterone. Both fighters need a win to keep momentum high and it's an exciting bout for the fans, making it a logical choice.
Overeem could also put on a good show against Mark Hunt somewhere along the line.
We could have witnessed Mir's last Octagon bout at UFC 169. He landed an astonishingly terrible five strikes last night. With four straight losses, he's faded miles away from true relevancy and it looks like the fight game has passed him by. There's no shame in defeat for Mir, however, as he goes down with a laundry list of UFC heavyweight records to his name.
He may want to return for one more bout, but it remains to be seen what Dana White and the UFC brass want to do with him. He's a two-time champion with nothing left to accomplish in the sport, and should have a bright future as an MMA coach should he choose to go down that path.
Displaying newfound conditioning, Alistair Overeem got back into the win column by defeating Frank Mir at UFC 169. What does the future hold for "Reem"?