Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight legends Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem completed their trilogy last night (July 8, 2017) at UFC 213 inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Werdum submitted a much smaller version of Overeem way back in Pride FC before coming up short to a much larger — UBEREEM! — foe in Strikeforce. Opposite something of a middle ground, Werdum looked to end the rivalry in decisive fashion while also moving himself closer to the title. Like his opponent, Overeem was working to bounce back from a loss to Stipe Miocic and earn another shot. He was also motivated to win a more interesting battle than his previous victory over Werdum, which was one of the all-around ugliest fights in high-level MMA history.
It was definitely way better than that, but it still had some slow moments.
For the opening three minutes or so, the fighters did little but feint and throw the occasional kick. Overeem landed his first nice combination of the fight at that point, and Werdum responded by increasing his activity.
Just a bit.
It was pretty much an impossible round to score really. Overeem landed a couple of the biggest punches, but Werdum was the more active man and did try to land more strikes. I personally would lean towards Werdum, but there’s no real answer for this one.
About 30 seconds into the second round, Werdum changed things up and pulled guard. Overeem engaged for about 15 seconds before backing away. Overeem landed a brutal pair of shots for the first time, cracking him with a left hand and knee to the body, prompting a guard pull.
Moments later, Overeem landed another sharp counter and follow up punches. He seemed to have found his range, which made Werdum a bit more hesitant to throw. Werdum began to find some straight shots, but a big left hand from Overeem stopped him from building any momentum
It was a clear round for “Demolition Man.”
Werdum pressed the fight more to open the third, chasing Overeem a bit more with combinations. He soon found a home for his cross and a follow up knee, which dropped the kickboxing specialist. Werdum tried to follow up with a submission attempt but wound up on his back.
The Brazilian scrambled back to his feet, and Overeem was still wobbled. That resulted in an easy takedown for “Vai Cavalo,” and he immediately went to work with strikes from within the guard. Werdum wasn’t able to force the finish, but he did control and beat up Overeem until the end of the bout.
Ultimately, it came down to the first round, and the judges awarded a majority decision to Alistair Overeem.
Overeem was the heavier hitter in the second round; it was a clear win. The first round was very tight, as Overeem spent too much time doing nothing but did land the best shots. In short, it’s a completely arguable round, and all three judges gave it to “The Reem.”
Such is life.
On the bright side, Overeem’s defensive savvy and brutal counter punching were on point throughout two rounds. As he tires though, he becomes more vulnerable to offense, and that’s how Werdum caught him late.
There’s really no next obvious match up for Overeem, as the UFC is not likely to want to give him a title shot so soon. Plus, this was hardly a dominant win. Running it back would actually make sense, as would a match up with Cain Velasquez if he ever returns.
Werdum definitely has a case for earning the decision — or at the very least a draw — but his own decisions were a bit questionable. He needed more activity early in the fight, something to make Overeem use more energy. Engaging with Overeem is dangerous, but it’s necessary to cause him to tire and create holes in his defense.
Additionally, Werdum probably should have kept it on the feet and threw more punches after dropping Overeem. Overeem has been knocked out about a dozen times now; it’s the easiest way to get him out of there. Even if the knockout hadn’t materialized, more damage may have earned him the 10-8 definitively.
Overeem's hand was raised following an extremely close fight. Who should he face next?
This poll is closed
Rematch with Werdum
Title Shot opposite Stipe Miocic
Injury-free Cain Velasquez
Francis Ngannou... Somehow???
For complete UFC 213: “Romero vs. Whittaker” results and play-by-play, click HERE!