If you ask most MMA fans, chances are they’ll tell you that Alistair Overeem has failed to deliver on the hype that accompanied his UFC arrival in 2011…big time.
Sure, “The Reem” needed less than three minutes to viciously take out Brock Lesnar in his Octagon debut, but since then Overeem has gone 1-3. Not only that, but all three of his losses have come via KO or TKO.
In other words, the former Strikeforce and DREAM champ hasn’t come close to contending for the UFC title like many people thought he would.
Well, one man who apparently doesn’t think Overeem accomplished that much before joining the UFC to begin with, is Stefan Struve. As you likely know, the two are set to throw down at UFC on FOX 13, December 13th.
While appearing on a recent edition of “The MMA Hour”, is some of what Struve had to say about Overeem’s resume (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“The level of the competition in the UFC is just really high,” Struve said. “I said that to my friends and to people who asked me before [Overeem] got into the UFC, (people) who said he’s going to absolutely dominate and he’s going to be champ for years, he’s going to annihilate everybody. I told them, you just wait and see how high the level of the competition in the UFC is. You really underestimate that. He was beating everybody outside of the UFC, but if you go through his record, and also in K-1, if you really take a look at when he won and who he won against, then, you know, I’m actually not that impressed.
“Who did he really win against in the period where people were saying he might be the number-one heavyweight in the world? Yeah, he beat Fabricio Werdum, but was that impressive? I didn’t think so. Yeah, he won the K-1 (title), but he won the first round against a mediocre fighter, then he beat Gokhan Saki, who had a broken arm, then he beat Peter Aerts, who was spitting blood after his fight with Semmy Schilt. If you take a really good look at it, it’s not all that impressive…”
That’s an interesting way of looking at it, although, Overeem boosters likely won’t agree with Struve on this.
A big reason there was so much buzz regarding Overeem is because of the 11 fight undefeated run he put together from 2007 through 2011, prior to facing Lesnar. It was also because he was wrecking opponent’s with organ shattering knees and head jarring punches.
During that time, he took out notable opponents like Mark Hunt, Todd Duffee and Werdum. There was also Overeem’s successes with K-1, but Struve clearly doesn’t think much of those wins either…There’s also no denying that Overeem has a losing record in the world’s biggest MMA organization.
Of course, what Overeem accomplished prior to signing with the UFC doesn’t really matter now. If he loses to Struve at UFC on FOX 13, his UFC run will be over.
If the Jackson’s MMA fighter can score an impressive win over Struve, well, then a little bit of hype will be tied to Overeem as he heads into 2015.