A Foxxc Column: JDS-Overeem -- The Early Breakdown

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A Foxxc Column: JDS-Overeem -- The Early Breakdown

PostPosted by #Foxxc# » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:48 pm

MMASucka.com wrote:This past Friday Alistair Overeem stamped his ticket to challenge for the UFC heavyweight championship by defeating former ruler of the heavyweight landscape Brock Lesnar and forcing him into an early retirement.

The Dutch striker promised in his pre-fight interviews that he would put away the former pro wrestling star in the first round and that’s exactly what he did – Overeem dropped Lesnar to the mat with a brutal liver kick that reportedly broke his ribs before attacking him with a barrage of punches before referee Mario Yamasaki was forced to step in.

“The Demolition Man” has been a busy man, in the past few years alone he has held the Strikeforce heavyweight championship, DREAM heavyweight championship and K-1 World Grand Prix championship.

Despite making his UFC debut at UFC 141 this is not his first rodeo, Overeem had been training in kick boxing since his mid-teens and competing as a professional since 1999. He began in Japan where most of his bouts have taken place making a splash in the PRIDE organization during its heyday.

In 2007 after bouncing between weight-classes prior he committed permanently to being a heavyweight and since then has only suffered a lone defeat to Sergei Kharitonov and is riding a huge eleven-bout unbeaten streak defeating the likes of Mark Hunt, Todd Duffee, Fabricio Werdum and now Brock Lesnar.

However, holding the belt that he desires is Brazilian slugger Junior dos Santos who is on quite the tear of his own.
For the longest of time we have heard about “the new breed” of fighter – That prodigy who is young, athletic and is ready to take the sport by the horns and take it to new heights, that man may very well be Junior dos Santos.

Six years ago he did no martial arts, now the Brazilian prodigy is the heavyweight champion of the world. In 2008 he made his UFC debut against submission magician Fabricio Werdum and wasted no time making an impact defeating Werdum at 1:21 of the first round en route to earning a nice $65,000 knockout of the night bonus.

This trend has continued with all of his opponents to date whether they were stopped early or survived to the final bell, he has looked impressive each time we have seen him.

In November the UFC made their debut on the FOX network by presenting a heavyweight title fight between the heavy handed Brazilian and consensus #1-ranked heavyweight Cain Velasquez. They planned to hit their entire new audience bang on the jaw with their title fight but 64-seconds can’t have been what they had in mind.

When the challenger stepped into the cage that night in the Honda Center in Anaheim, California the friendly giant persona disappeared and an ice-cold killer emerged. After a brief feeling out process he connected with an overhand right that signaled the end of the Velasquez era.

Unquestionably Overeem vs. Dos Santos is a fight that will live up to all the hype, neither man will likely attempt to implement a wrestling strategy and the two imposing giants will throw leather until someone crumbles to the mat.
Striking is the weapon of choice for both men but an advantage must be given to the challenger – “The Reem” has spent most of his career sharpening his striking skills alongside the likes of Gokhan Saki and Semmy Schilt and has a more diverse arsenal of strikes since he likes to punish opponents with a barrage of knees, elbows and punches.

But the champion isn’t a slouch in the striking department either, “Cigano” began his foray into the martial arts world as a boxer going unbeaten in eight bouts and trains regularly with polished strikers like Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo and Lyoto Machida.

What does work hugely in his favor is the advantage he has in speed, being much smaller he is able to move in and out and do damage and with 9 of his 14 professional fights ending with a knockout it’s clear that this Brazilian behemoth packs a lot of power and could put anyone in the heavyweight division to sleep.

If this bout is to hit the mat it opens up a whole new world of possibilities since dos Santos’ mat game has been something combatants have been looking to exploit for a long time due to his barely seen grappling abilities but a brown-belt under arguably the greatest heavyweight grappler of all time, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira ought to make them second guess that.

Even though the Dutchman is associated with his striking abilities he is also an underrated grappler as well with 19 submission victories to his name. Additionally, he also has an ADCC European trials title against his name where he defeated all three opponents with his go-to hold the guillotine-choke.

If Overeem is going to test the abilities of the champ on the mat he would have to get him there first, the only person to get him off his feet to date is NCAA Division II wrestler Shane Carwin but he soon got back to his feet.

The Amsterdam native will step into the cage for their imminent title fight with a clear advantage in experience with 48 professional MMA bouts under his belt as oppose to the 15 on the record of the champion but one huge factor is that neither man has been 25 minutes in their career.

Overeem has shown a tendency to bring the thunder earlier in the fight looking to put his opponent away without pacing himself and it has cost him in the past, if dos Santos can drag him into the later portions of the five-round affair it would work hugely in his favor.

Although he has only gone to the judges’ score cards twice dos Santos has shown a better ability to remain very active with a high volume of punches being put out even in the dying portions of fights against high-end heavyweights like Shane Carwin and Roy Nelson.

The final thing we have to consider is the added pressure put on the back of dos Santos while defending his title for the very first time. Even great champions like George St-Pierre or Randy Couture have failed to defend championship on their first defense.

These two knockout punchers will remain mutually respectful in the lead-up to the fight since neither harbors any ill will towards the other but when the bell rings, fisticuffs will be flying and all bets will be off.
"The Gracie Hunter" Kazushi Sakuraba
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