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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Jon Jones vs. Alex Gustafsson, one of the top 5 robberies in the History of MMA

Jon Jones should know beyond a shadow of a doubt - he just lost that fight to Alex Gustafsson. He was beaten, he was battered, and he received a number of firsts:
He was taken down (twice! not sure what fight you saw, but he landed two takedowns, albeit one didn't stay down long....points are points.) for the first two times in his career.
He was stuffed! Repeatedly! Gustafsson stuffed 10 of Jones' 11 takedown attempts. No one's ever had that kind of takedown defense against Bones.
Head strikes, of the significant variety. You know, the most important ones? Well, Gustafsson landed more in 4 of the 5 rounds. He even landed more body shots too, in each of the final 3 rounds.
The only thing Jones seemed to do well was land about 25% of his spinning back elbows. Those were generally thrown in frustration, when Bones couldn't get the better of the striking exchanges.
The only strike that Jones seemed to land with efficiency was that Wing Chun front shin kick that hyperextends the knee. Sure, only bitches throw that kick, but I digress...

This isn't boxing. A title match should only be different in the number of scheduled rounds, 5 vs. the normal 3. The Champion is not to be given any advantage in scoring. The challenger does not have to go above and beyond what any fighter would have to do to win a round from any other fighter.
Must I remind everyone the rules of MMA scoring in the sanctioned states in the USA?
Scoring officials are told to use the following guidelines when evaluating:
-Effective striking. This is to be judged and determined by the total amount of significant strikes landed.
-Effective grappling. To be judged and determined by the total amount of takedowns, reversals, guard progression, and aggressive, threatening guard from bottom position.
-Control of the fighting area. To be judged and determined by which fighter is controlling the location, position, and pace of the fight; by creating and dictating the striking exchanges, submission attempts, counter grappling, and guard passing.
-Effective aggressiveness and defense. This is quite self explanatory.

When one steps back and places the Jon Jones and Alex Gustafsson fight into this system, it's quite clear who won the contest. Go back and watch the fight again, and score it for yourself, and let me know what you think.
I understand why the UFC, Nike, Gatorade, Fox, the list goes on- would not want Jones to lose. I'm not saying anything fishy is going on, but I am saying the judges gave Jon Jones the boxing champ's advantage. Which is bullshit.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Roots of MMA- How it all got started

We're headed into 2012, and people take so many things for granted, without knowing where they came from, or why. Even simple things like sports- take baseball. Do you know how baseball got started? When? By who? What about ping pong? Who created that game, and who set up the rules? Were they the same people that invented volleyball? I don't know the histroy of many sports and games, now that I think about it. What I do know is Mixed Martial Arts, and if you've ever wondered about it's history, lineage, and rules, today is the day you'll learn about them all.
Pankration. That's the name of the style of mixed fighting that first took hold in sports. The word itself, Pankration, is a combination of pan- meaning "everything" and kratos- meaning "strength".
This first sport fighting was a combination of boxing and wrestling, and was actually the most popular Olympic sport for a long time. The combatants were revered as heros, and legend has it that Hercules was a pankration competitor. When Alexander the Great invaded India in 326 B.C., he had a large number of pankration competitors in his army. It is believed this lead to most Asian martial arts, as they are generally traced back to India around this time period. Pankration's downcline was aligned with that of Greece's. The combat sports were separated as the Roman Empire was taking power. Boxing and wrestling were Western favorites, and the Asian martial art forms rose in popularity and practice. These trends continued until the early 1900's, when Judo was introduced to an individual living in the Para province in Brazil, by a Japanese man named Mitsuyo Madea.
Mitsuyo Madea had come to Brazil to establish a Japanese community. He was a government official in Japan, and he was also a Judo champion. He befriended Gastao Gracie, who was in Brazilian politics, and began teaching Judo to Gastao's son, Carlos. After 6 years of teaching, Madea retunred to Japan. Armed with his new knowledge, and lacking the martial art rules governing Judo in Japan, Carlos taught his brothers his own version of Judo. In 1925, Carlos and his youngest brother Helio moved to Rio, and established the first Jiu Jitsu academy. To get established, Carlos issued the now-famous "Gracie Challenge". He and Helio (and their children after them) welcomed all comers in a style of fighting called Vale Tudo. They were basically no holds barred matches, the closest thing to Pankration in about 2000 years. People all over the world began to hear about these matches, and all sorts of Martial Art instructors and practioners would come to test their skills. As the popularity grew so much in Brazil that only Soccer was more popular, the Gracies knew they wanted to penetrate the market of the best country in the world, the United States.
In 1980, Helio Gracie's son Rorian moved to California to begin teaching Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Rorian also issued a "Gracie Challenge", but he spiced it up for the USA- he offered $100,000 to anyone who could beat him in a fight. This offer gained his school, and Jiu Jitsu as a whole so much popularity, Rorian knew he had to create a "league" for fighting in the USA, similar to the major sports here.
In 1993, his dreams came to a reality, and the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was held. This was a new style of fighting that only disallowed fish hooks, eye gouging, and biting. The fights were ended only by a knock out, referee stoppage, or a "3 tap" submission, where the fighter would tap the floor or their opponent 3 times with a hand or foot. The fights were structured with no time limit, and no judges. As it was a single elimination, one night tournament, the winning fighters would continue fighting until a champion was crowned. Royce Gracie, son of Helio Gracie, won UFC 1 with his amazing Jiu Jitsu skills. Although only 178 pounds, he was able to defeat men literally twice his size. Everyone took note of his skills, and began the ground fighting practice. Even so, Royce won 3 of the first 4 UFC tournaments. The lack of rules and the brutal fighting that ensued garnered a lot of interest, very quickly. It was also due to the lack of rules that the UFC nearly came to a close, and we likely wouldn't have MMA as we know it today.
Pictured is Royce Gracie going for an armbar/triangle on Kimo Leopoldo at UFC 3.
In 1997, Senator John McCain (may he rot in eternal hell) was successful in nearly stopping the UFC, or as he called it, human cockfighting. He was so avidly against the lack of rules and UFC in general that he made many political moves that would lead to the UFC being dropped from cable Pay-Per-View. This cut off the main revenue, the funding for more events. The UFC was on life support, functioning only with the support of DirecTV pay per view. To stay alive, the UFC had to react to the reasons they were banned, and attempted to create more rules and regulations for themselves. At UFC 12, weight classes were formed. At UFC 14, head kicks to a downed opponent were banned, and fighters now had to wear gloves. UFC 15 eliminated groin shots, hair pulling, headbutting, punches to the back of the head and neck, and small joint manipulation (finger locks, etc). At UFC 21, with the introduction of 5 minute rounds and a 10 point per round scoring system, the UFC was seen as making the transition from spectacle to an actual sport. UFC's first event to be sanctioned under the new "unified rules of MMA" was UFC 28, held in New Jersey. These rules included 5 weight classes, time limits, 31 fouls, and 8 ways to win.
On January 1st, 2001, Zuffa, LLC purchased the UFC. Among the leaders of Zuffa was Lorenzo Fertitta, a former member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Lorenzo was instrumental in getting the UFC sanctioned in Nevada. Due to the sacntioning and regulation, the UFC was allowed back on cable pay per view. On September 28th, 2001, UFC 33 was presented as the first sanctioned, regulated, cable pay per view UFC event, aptly named "Victory in Vegas". With the regained exposure and a larger force behind advertising, the UFC continued to rise in popularity. The UFC and most of the smaller United States MMA promotions used generally the same rules, as dictated in the Unified Rules of MMA. Pride Fighting Championships in Japan, however, used some different rules. They allowed kicks to the head (or anywhere) of a downed opponent, this includes stomps and soccer kicks. Elbows to a grounded opponent were disallowed. In 2007, the UFC bought Pride FC. That followed the UFC's purchase of the WEC in 2006, and preceeded the purchase of Strikeforce in 2011. Similar to the NFL and the NBA, the UFC has been consuming the competition and establishing itself as the predominant organization in MMA. With a new 7 year cable television deal with FOX, exposure in over 150 countries and a new televised "The Ultimate Fighter" show in Brazil in 2012, MMA (and the UFC) is headed only one direction.
MMA fighters now train mixed martial arts literally - because they have to. Gone are the days when competitors train in a primary aspect, a single martial art, and then add to it for MMA competition. Well rounded is the best way to be, as holes in any area of a fighter's game will be exploited at some point. The fighters have all evolved so much that a black belt in Jiu Jitsu isn't as important as having years of dedicated MMA training. Cardio is playing a bigger role in fights as fighters become more skilled, as are smaller details like using the cage to one's advantage in certain situations, like using it to help you stand back up from a takedown. MMA is truly a sport- and a great one at that. The competitors go through the most insane training to compete, more than any other sport on earth.
Hopefully you learned something new today! This article is dedicated to user "socal57chevy" on the TundraTalk forums, he suggested I write a piece on this topic.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fight Breakdown: Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz for the interim UFC Welterweight Title

Georges St. Pierre is out of commission. He won't be able to fight Carlos Condit, Nick Diaz, or anyone else, anytime soon. As his last title defense was April 30th, 2011, he will fall out of many of the MMA World top 10 rankings on May 1st, 2012. Details of the severity of GSP's left ACL injury are scarce, but we all know it's bad enough to require surgery. That puts him out quite some time, I feel the 10 month estimates are minimums. Actually, not many details about GSP's injury at all are available, but I think I know where he was when it happened. I've been lucky enough to have trained with the great Gilbert "Durinho" Burns, two time world Black Belt Jiu Jitsu champion, and current budding MMA fighter. Durinho is currently in training camp with Vitor Belfort, and he posted the attached picture on his personal Facebook page on December 5th....GSP's injury was announced on December 7th. As you can see in the picture, GSP, and his knees, look just fine. (Gilbert is wearing black, GSP has a red rash guard on, and Vitor is standing)
As they always have (and rightly so), the UFC will hold a bout to determine the Interim Welterweight UFC Champion due to GSP's injury. One of my top 3 favorite fighters, Carlos Condit, will fight one of my top 10 favorite fighters, Nick Diaz, for the Interim title. If and when GSP comes back at full strength, he will fight whoever the Interim Champion is at the time - of course I have my opinions on that, which I'll reveal later- first, to break down this awesome matchup. Nick Diaz is the kind of guy you either love or hate. He's quite polarizing, opinionated, as tough as they come, and a damn good fighter.
I first saw him fight at UFC 44- it was Nick's 10th pro fight. He was already 7-2, having beaten Chris Lytle in his second pro MMA fight. He fought against Jeremy Jackson, and it was actually their rubber match, their 3rd match, each had won one previously. It was an awesome fight, both fighters having advantages at points in each round, before Nick submitted Jackson with an armbar, midway through the 3rd round. I liked Nick immediately. In his second UFC fight, he was thrown to the wolves, getting matched up with Robbie Lawler. Lawler was a huge favorite in the fight, but Diaz taunted him throughout the first round, and knocked Lawler out cold in the second round. It was at this point you could tell what kind of fighter, and person Diaz was- and if you liked him or hated him. He's fought the same way ever since, talking trash early on in camp, throwing up his arms in fights, taunting, it's the way he is. It's the "Stockton Swag", and his brother Nate is quite similar. Fact is, Nick's won 10 straight fights, 4 of which were Strikeforce Championship fights, and the most recent was against BJ Penn at UFC 137. During his streak, he's TKO'd Frank Shamrock and Paul Daley, and won a decision over former Elite XC Lightweight champ and pro boxer KJ Noons, mostly with his stand up. Nick is the real deal, and will have another chance to prove it against Condit.
Pictured is the difference in appearance after Nick Diaz's decision victory over BJ Penn.
As I mentioned, Carlos Condit is one of my top 3 favorite fighters. The other two are Wandereli Silva and Dan Henderson. Carlos is an absolute warrior, a gritty, brutal fighter with huge heart. He's 13-1 in his past 14 fights, with the only blemish being a very questionable split decision loss to Martin Kampmann. During that time, he won the WEC Welterweight Championship and defended it successfully 3 times, before the WEC was folded into the UFC. Since his loss to Kampmann, he's beaten Jake Ellenberger, TKO'd Rory McDonald in a Fight of the Night performance, one I thought was the Fight of the Year in 2010, KO'd knockout artist Dan Hardy with a KO of the night, and KO'd Dong Hyun Kim, who was previously undefeated, in a Knockout of the Night. The guy is as classy and humble as they come, never calling anyone out or talking pre-fight trash. Condit was actually scheduled to fight BJ Penn at UFC 137, and Nick Diaz was scheduled to fight GSP. Diaz missed two pre-fight press conferences and Dana White decided to pull him from the title match, and put Condit in against GSP. Unfortunately, GSP pulled out of that fight too, with a knee injury. So, instead of fighting, Condit elected to wait for GSP to heal. Well, the UFC brass thought that Nick Diaz fought well enough against BJ Penn to grant him the title shot vs. GSP they had originally promised him, so Condit again had to take a back seat, agreeing to fight Josh Koscheck at UFC 143, the very event the Diaz/GSP fight was to be scheduled for. Unfortunately for GSP and Diaz, GSP is now on the shelf. Fortunately for Condit, he will be matched up with Diaz for the Interim UFC Welterweight Championship.
Standing, Nick has the technical boxing advantage over Condit, as well as a reach advantage. I'd give the pure punching power advantage to Carlos. Carlos is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, where Nick is a black belt. Neither are strong in wrestling, as their overall skill sets match up quite nicely. Diaz has shown a propensity to get cut a lot in his fights, and Carlos' heart is the biggest non-fighting-skillset factor. It may be the fan in me, but I think that Condit will end up winning this fight in TKO from ground and pound, in the 2nd round or later. Early on in this blog I mentioned I have an opinion on who GSP will fight when he comes back- and that's John Fitch. Whether Nick or Carlos win, their first defense will likely be against Fitch, if he gets by Jhonny Hendricks. I really don't like Fitch's style, but it's damn effective. Carlos Condit highlights:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cardio is King

Let me start by saying- if you've never been through the training and an actual 5 minute round of fighting, let alone multiple rounds, you'll never know what it takes. It's the most grueling thing I've ever done, as measured by the exertion per second, and I used to be a competative swimmer. If you're fighting all out, one minute seems like 10. One must also understand that MMA is different than any other fighting, too. There are pure Jiu Jitsu guys who can go multiple 8 or 10 minute rounds, but put them in front of a heavy bag, and they are tired after one minute of kicking. Same goes with a kickboxer who can fight up to 10 rounds, put them on the mat with a wrestler and watch how fast they lose steam. Putting everything together in MMA is the ultimate test of skill and muscle endurance. Cardio has made champions, and it has taken them out. It doesn't matter how good one is at Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Judo, kickboxing, wrestling, or a combination... if the gas tank is small, it will likely be exploited.
As a fan, one of the worst things to watch is someone gas out during a fight. When they are unable to do all the things they should be able to do because of a lack of cardiovascular endurance, it's almost sad. When two competitors both gas out, it's borderline embarassing for the viewer. Recalling Season 10 (Heavyweights) on The Ultimate Fighter, we saw multiple fights where big guys had their hands on their hips...in the middle of a fight. The 3 round "fight" between Matt Mitrione and Scott Junk highlighted the lack of MMA cardio for the entire season. Mitrione, winning by a large margin in the 3rd round, even put his hands on his hips when he was on the attack. Just this past weekend, Jason "Mayhem" Miller's cardio was the biggest factor in the main event. Mayhem beat Michael Bisping in the first round, and then was exhausted. Bisping was able to pick Miller apart, and finish him in the 3rd round. While Miller looked quite in shape and had a long and good training camp, he wasn't prepared for the pace of the fight that Bisping brought to him. Mayhem is no slouch, he was the first person to ever submit Kazushi "The Gracie Killer" Sakuraba, and he has gone all the way to a decision 9 times. The first of which was against Chael Sonnen! Miller has been fighting professionally since 2001, bringing the question of: How? How at this point in his career, does Mayhem gas out in a fight? Could be that he's in the middle of filming a movie with his corner man from this weekend's past fight, Kevin James. Could be his appearances on MTV and Jason Ellis' Sirius radio show, the movie, The Ultimate Fighter reality show and his rumored raucous nightlife are cutting into his A.M. running time. Whatever the case is, he has been put on notice. Dana White, the president of the UFC, said at the post-fight press conference that he was unsure if Miller would even be offered another fight in the UFC. Brutal.
It's 2011, going on 2012. Kids these days are training in MMA, not just Jiu Jitsu and adding boxing. Not just Muay Thai and working on wrestling. Everyone's all around games need to be better, and they are getting better. The closer matched the technical skills are, the more that cardiovascular endurance determines the winner. There have been many times when I've been on the mat, waiting for my opponent to tire, so I could take advantage of that element. I actually won my first Jiu Jitsu tournament because I knew I tired my opponent in the first round of the final. I closed him out shortly into the second round. If anyone saw the instant classic that was Dan Henderson vs. Shogun Rua two weeks ago, I bet you've caught yourself wondering what would have happened if there was one more round..... or conversely, if there were only 3 rounds in that fight instead of the 5, what would your current opinion be? Line up Hendo with Anderson Silva! Right? Of course, Hendo gassed against Anderson last time and was submitted. Soon, very soon, the question will go from "Who has the skill to beat _____" to "Who has the skill and endurance to beat _____" in every Championship situation.
This video preview of the Mayhem vs. Bisping fight is decent, but I'm posting it for the replies at the bottom on youtube. It's all about Mayhem gassing out. It's all people are talking about from that fight.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Anderson "The Spider" Silva - Unstoppable?

Yeah, we've heard that before. In the world of MMA, Champions don't usually stay champions for long. There's no feeding a fighter a steady dose of sub par competition to pad his stats, no lopsided matchups like a 9-0 fighter vs. a 2-8 guy. There's no 40-0 fighters in MMA. Competition at the top is insanely fierce, and with the vast array of ways fights can be fought and won, the titles change hands relatively often. Look no further than the current UFC Heavyweight Champion- Junior Dos Santos. He just won that title by beating Cain Velasquez on November 12th, in Cain's first title defense after beating Brock Lesnar. Brock actually defended the title twice before losing to Cain, after winning the title from Randy Couture. Randy only had one successful defense, when he beat Gabriel Gonzaga. All of this since March 3rd, 2007!
I remember when Lyoto Machida knocked out Rashad Evans (one of the best moments of my MMA fandom life) at UFC 98. I remember Joe Rogan exclaiming "This is the beginning of the Machida era, folks". In Machida's first title defense against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, the two battled to a 5 round decision, which Machida took, 48-47 on all three of the judges' cards. It was a successful title defense, but holes were shot in Lyoto's invincibility for the first time in the UFC. I, along with many others, thought that Shogun had done enough to win the fight. Luckily for all fans, the UFC decided to put them together for an immediate rematch- Shogun knocked Machida out with a Knockout of the Night bonus to boot. Now Rua looked unstoppable! He just beat the everliving shit out of the elusive and highly regarded Lyoto Machida. How could he lose anytime soon? Well, Shogun's first title defense was against Jon "Bones" Jones. Jones TKO'd Shogun in the 3rd round to win the UFC Light Heavyweight title. That was just this March! Jones has since successfully defended the title once, against Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Now, everyone is calling Jon Jones the new, unstoppable UFC Light Heavyweight champ.
Current UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva has the longest all-time UFC title reign, at 9 successful defenses in a row. He is the current pound-for-pound #1 fighter in the world, and likely the best fighter in MMA history. During this current reign, Anderson has twice gone up in weight from his normal 185 to 205 to fight. The first was against James Irvin, a middle-of-the-road Light Heavyweight. Anderson knocked Irvin out in 1:01 of the first round. The second was against Forrest Griffin, a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. Anderson knocked Griffin down 3 times before knocking him out with a jab while literally walking backwards- all in the first round. For that performance, Anderson won both Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night, along with the $60,000 bonuses each award came with. His records are absolutely absurd: A perfect 1.000 winning percentage in the UFC. Most UFC title defenses at 9, longest all time UFC win streak at 14, most all time knockdowns in UFC history with 15, and the longest title reign in UFC history. Aside from his fight with Chael Sonnen, Anderson has even looked unbeatable when his fights were taking place. If any reader has seen the fight between Anderson and Demian Maia, as agonizing as it was, it just highlighted the gap in MMA skill between the two fighters at the time. With little time left in his career, can Anderson Silva be beaten? Will he retire as UFC Middleweight Champion, and the best fighter of all time?
Probably. As much as I hate to say it, probably. Who do you think can/will beat him?

Here's a video with some Silva highlights. From :38 seconds to :47 seconds it shows the knockout of Forrest Griffin I was referring to. It's ridiculous.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Living the MMA lifestyle- Tattoos, TapouT, and Twitter

MMA is exploding. The UFC has a Fox network television deal, is hosting events in at least 5 different countries in 2012, and isn't losing steam anytime soon. Bellator has new TV deals in place for 2012, 2013, and beyond. The same can be said for the culture, style, and wants of MMA's vast fanbase- they are absolutely blowing up. Look no further than this blog, of which I'm one of many....I personally have 6 tattoos, have a pair of Twitter accounts for MMA, and an MMA clothing and training gear line on the way. TapouT, too, is one of many. But they are large, well known, and have been around. I have actually seen a lot of TapouT tattoos. I'm not saying I approve, but here's a picture of one.
It's not just in the USA, either. UFC on Fox 1, with Junior Dos Santos defeating Cain Velasquez for Cain's UFC Heavyweight belt peaked in the USA at about 9 million viewers. While that was great, and a record for MMA, many don't realize what's happening outside of the USA. In Brazil, UFC on Fox 1 drew a peak of 22 million viewers. And in Rio, the fight wasn't on until 12:30am, their time. Vitor Belfort is one of the biggest stars in all of Brazil, not just for MMA, but also because he's married to Joana Prado, a huge star herself in Brazil.
I'm unsure of the numbers, but I'm very sure they were also huge in Mexico, where Cain Velazquez hails from.
I believe the UFC is the largest company in the world that actually promotes Twitter usage, to the point that the UFC offers quarterly bonuses to their fighters who gain the most followers. They also give a bonus for "most creative tweet". On the UFC website page showing the fighters, there's a link to follow every fighter's Twitter page. MMA fans in general are quite active on Twitter, and mandates like the UFC's to it's employees are great things for everyone. It gets the fans "closer" to the personalities of their favorite (and least favorite! I follow Brock Lensar, after all) fighters. Often I hear news directly from a fighter on Twitter before I get the news anywhere else. It's great for bloggers like myself, as we have a chance to get the first articles written based on this information stream. That said, I'd be selling myself short if I didn't put a link to my Twitter account here: Or Text 'follow AdamantMMA' to 40404 (in the USA)
With MMA on it's meteoric rise in nearly the entire world, expect to see a lot more of TapouT, tattoos, and Twitter. And AdamantMMA.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Matchup Breakdown: Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem

6 months ago, NO one saw this fight on the horizon. Alistair Overeem was not even in the UFC, he was the Strikeforce Heavyweight champ, and was in the middle of the Strikeforce HW Grand Prix tournament. It was May 12th, 2011, that Brock Lesnar announced he was not able to fight against Junior Dos Santos for the #1 UFC HW contender spot. His diverticulitis had flared up again, and this time he was going to have surgery. No one knew when, or if, Brock Lesnar would ever compete in the UFC again. Certainly, no one thought Alistair Overeem would be fighting Brock Lesnar in a 5 round main event at UFC 141 on December 30th, 2011 in Las Vegas....and the winner is to be given the first shot at Junior Dos Santos' UFC Heavyweight belt.
Things seemed to go even more downhill in July. On the 17th, Strikeforce announced Alistair Overeem was being removed from the Heavyweight Tournament, due to the fact he claimed he would not be ready for the next round of fights. On the 29th, he was released from Strikeforce completely. Amazing! Strikeforce releases Alistair, their Heavyweight Champion (since November 2007!), someone alive and well in the HW tournament, completely. One would think if Strikeforce, owned by the same group who owns the UFC, would drop Overeem, then he would also not work for the UFC. After a change in heart on the UFC's part and eventually a management change by Alistair Overeem, a contract was signed on the 6th of September for him to fight in the UFC.
Although he held the Strikeforce HW title for nearly 4 years, he only defended it once, against Brett Rogers. Brett's probably the most famous for punching.....his wife. Overeem's fought 9 other times, against what most people consider questionalble competition. Directly after winning the Strikeforce HW title, he fought Lee Tae-Hyun (1-2). He also fought James Thompson. Yeah, the guy who's ear was burst by Kimbo Slice on national TV. That said, his most recent win was over Fabricio Werdum, by way of decision in the Strikeforce HW GP semis. Unfortunately, that fight was as entertaining as folding laundry. Overeem has always been a striker, and has had success in K-1, winning the 2010 World Grand Prix. Against Lesnar, he would look to stand as much as possible, trying to stop Brock's takedown attempts and see if Brock still really, really hates to get hit in the face.
Ok, I hate Brock Lesnar. I felt there was no way to go about it than to just say it. Luckily for us both, I hate him enough to want to see him lose in fights. When he went down with diverticulitis and decided to have surgery, I was pissed because it would mean some time before I got to see someone else punch his face. See, I didn't really think that Randy Couture would beat him, nor did I think Mir could the second time, nor Carwin, but I was excited at each chance. When Carwin floored Brock, I was shouting "let him up! let him up!!" - I wanted Shane to punch Brock's face more.
Stylistically, this fight is a classic striker vs. grappler matchup. If Brock can avoid eating a punch or kick on the way in, he should be able to pound Overeem out on the ground. If Overeem can keep the fight standing, his chances are very good. The issue is, I don't think that Alistair can keep Brock from taking him down. I almost hope that Brock has been doing a lot of live sparring and letting guys punch him, so he can take more than one good shot on the feet without getting afraid, it would make this, and any other fight of his better. Whether he has or hasn't, I give the edge to Lesnar. He was the 2000 NCAA Heavyweight wrestling champion. Overeem has only competed as a heavyweight since mid 2007, and many, including myself, think his size is at least partially due to steroids.
RDV: Lesnar over Overoid, round 1 TKO.

I would usually put a video here, but no one would ever come back to read this blog if I put footage of the Overeem v. Werdum fight. So, here's a video of the man the winner faces, Junior Dos Santos (notice what he did to Werdum?) :