Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone, as UFC on ESPN 7 blew the roof off Capital One Arena last Saturday night ((Dec. 7, 2019) in Washington D.C.
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Thiago Alves, who suffered his second straight defeat after getting submitted by Tim Means in the very first round (see it). And Stefan Struve, who was knocked out by Ben Rothwell after receiving two devastating low blows (highlights).
But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?
Coming into his headlining about against Jairzinho Rozenstruik, Overeem was high on confidence after scoring back-to-back knockout wins. One more impressive win would have put him on a short list of contenders in line for a shot at the Heavyweight strap.
Rozenstruik, meanwhile, was looking to capitalize on his late opportunity after agreeing to step in to replace Walt Harris. The big man had already scored three knockout wins in his first three bouts inside the Octagon ... all in 2019.
Things didn’t look too well for Rozenstruik throughout the bout, as the much more experienced Overeem was winning the fight in all areas, and was well on his way to a unanimous decision win after 24 minutes of action. But in the final 10 seconds of the fight, “Bigi Boy” blasted Overeem with a hard right, sending him crashing to the canvas. That’s where the controversy began.
Instead of going in to finish the job, Rozenstruik walked way to celebrate thinking Overeem was out. While it was a crushing strike, Overeem popped back to his feet, but Dan Miragliotta, for whatever reason, put an end to the fight. Perhaps he was swayed by Rozenstruik’s imitation of Mark Hunt by walking off, but the fight wasn’t over. And it’s a shame, really, as Overeem was well on his way to a third straight win.
Sure, Overeem was a bit off when he got back to his feet — and his lip was torn in half (see it) — but he wasn’t finished. And to put an end to the fight with one second left after he bounced right up is a tough way to go out (highlights).
Nevertheless, the record books will show a loss for “The Reem,” halting his Heavyweight momentum. Aside from heading into a plastic surgeon’s office later this week, Overeem will have to go back to the drawing board and start another run. Thankfully, the Dutchman had a good sense of humor about it all following the defeat.
Getting stitched up. Lip not to sexy at the moment.. a little bit a fast stoppage if u ask me - but hope u guys enjoyed the fight— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) December 8, 2019
“Getting stitched up. Lip not to sexy at the moment,” he wrote on Twitter. “A little bit a fast stoppage if u ask me — but hope u guys enjoyed the fight.”
Up next for the big man should be a fight against Blagoy Ivanov. It seems like a logical next step. Ivanov was last seen coming up short against Derrick Lewis at UFC 244, though he showed just how tough he is by taking some of best shots “Black Beast” could muster.
While it’s not exactly a “sexy” fight for Overeem, it’s a good test for both men coming off losses.
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