The intensity was high in Rotterdam, Netherlands. This was Alistair Overeem’s first home-turf fight in the UFC, and his first fight in the Netherlands in years, a potential UFC heavyweight title shot was on the line, and Overeem was fighting his Jackson/Winklejohn teammate Andrei Arlovski. Needless to say, the pressure was on.
The fight started out hot with AA opening up with a flurry of punches and knees, but the pace would settle down into the Reem’s preferred speed. He kept his distance, either choosing to work the outside or clinch. This is what we’ve seen out of Overeem of late, ever since he was knocked out by Travis Browne and Bigfoot Silva. This is the more refined Overeem, who also weighed in at 244 pounds, a far cry from his most musclebound days. He’s more patient now, and he lulls his opponents into openings, just like he did against Junior dos Santos, and just like he did tonight against Arlovski, who he front kicked then TKOd with a never-ending series of punches.
The front kick (Karate Kid Kick?) ended up dislocating Overeem’s big toe, which was promptly snapped back into place by the ringside doctor on duty.
After his hand was raised, Overeem called out the winner of Werdum/Miocic to fight him for the heavyweight belt on November 17th at Madison Square Garden. He followed up that declaration by stating he would be defending the belt (that he would win in this hypothetical situation) back in Amsterdam Arena in 2017.
If Werdum beats Stipe Miocic, this would set up the third fight between the two heavyweights. Overeem lost to Werdum in Pride in 2006, then avenged that loss in one of the most boring fights ever in Strikeforce.
The trilogy fight will no doubt be bonkers — if it happens.