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UFC on FOX 17 results: What's next fight for Alistair Overeem?

Former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem knocked out former UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos last night (Sat., Dec. 19, 2015) at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, in the co-main event of UFC on FOX 17. Following his biggest victory inside the Octagon, ponders what could be next for "The Reem."

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

When Alistair Overeem finally joined the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in late 2011 after a very successful career in both Strikeforce and PRIDE, many expected "The Reem" would capture UFC gold in no time.

After annihilating former UFC Heavyweight kingpin Brock Lesnar via (technical) knockout in his Octagon debut at UFC 141, the stars had aligned for Overeem to fight the current champ Junior Dos Santos at UFC 146.

Just a month before his highly anticipated showdown against the Brazilian champ, Overeem failed his pre-fight drug test by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), leading to the cancellation of the title fight, and a lengthy suspension for "The Reem."

When he returned in February of 2013 at UFC 156, Antonio Silva pulled off a cataclysmic upset, knocking out Overeem in the third round of their Heavyweight affair.

The struggles continued for Overeem, as he faltered again in his next bout, losing via knockout to Travis Browne in a fight he was winning prior to a violent front kick to the face.

"The Reem" got back in the win column against Frank Mir in a must-win fight his next time out, but once again was knocked out in his following bout, this time via a right hook from Ben Rothwell.

With Overeem's chin becoming a major question mark, it seemed his days as a top-tier Heavyweight were long gone, and his once ample opportunities inside the Octagon had dwindled significantly.

Overeem was the butt of many jokes in the MMA community, often criticized for steroid abuse, and folding under the bright lights inside of the Octagon.

With his fighting career on the line, Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn down in Albuquerque began the resurrection of "The Reem's" once promising and potentially Hall of Fame caliber career.

After two straight impressive victories over Stefan Struve and Roy Nelson, UFC brass once again booked Overeem against Junior Dos Santos in a highly anticipated Heavyweight affair over three years in the making.

As if the pressure wasn't already palpable, Overeem opted to bet on himself by fighting out his current UFC contract instead of signing a new deal. Ultimately, "The Reem's" bet on himself should bank him a major payday.

Both men were exceedingly confident heading into the UFC on FOX 17 co-main event, but the first round in Orlando was a feeling out process as both men refused to engage early.

In the second round, Overeem began to utilize his distance to frustrate and batter a stagnant "JDS," before unleashing a ferocious shovel left hook that ultimately closed the show.

Check out the highlights here.

With a major victory on FOX, there is no doubt Overeem is next in line to fight for UFC gold once Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez lock horns again at UFC 196 in February.

Of course, the only thing currently impeding Overeem's potential title shot is a brand new contract. "The Reem" will likely be fielding calls from Scott Coker and a handful of other intrigued promoters, so UFC brass will ultimately have to pay up in order to keep Overeem on their roster.

Just a few years ago Overeem was the laughing stock of MMA, and in 2016 he could very well be UFC Heavyweight Champion.

For complete results from UFC on FOX 17: "Dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2," including play-by-play updates click here.

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