Just after Alistair Overeem pummeled Brock Lesnar into retirement in the first round of their encounter at UF 141, there were hordes of reporters on Junior Cigano’s tailcoats with a simple and inevitable question: “What now, champ?”
Cigano, as calloused as his right fist, remarked that he wasn’t impressed by the Dutchman’s Muay Thai or the liver kick that crumpled the monstrous-proportioned Lesnar to the ground and opened the way to the technical knockout.
“Overeem is a great fighter; he hits hard but I have faith in my boxing,” said the heavyweight champion in summary.
Where fists are concerned, it’s hard to argue against the Brazilian heavyweight holding his own when the two square off midway through the year. On the ground, though—should it go there—, that’s where the danger lies. Cigano knows it.
On paper, Overeem, who hasn’t lost a fight since 2007, has put away 17 opponents using his Jiu-Jitsu, eight of them with his notorious guillotine choke. But his game is more well-rounded than that, as GRACIEMAG.com will paint a picture of below, with five of Alistair Overeem gentle art highlights.
1. OVEREEM NABS BELFORT’S NECK
Vitor Belfort and the Dutchman tangled at the Saitama Super Arena for the opening stage of the Pride middleweight GP of 2005. Already dazed on his feet, Vitor was easy pray for “The Reem’s” Jiu-Jitsu.
2. BEST GRAPPLER IN EUROPE
At the European tryouts for the 2005 ADCC, Overeem was a cut above the rest, choking every one of his opponents out for the win. In the final he took on Mikael Grothe and spent most of the match in the Swede’s half-guard. He made a few unsuccessful attack attempts; they were important in that they diverted his opponent’s attention, though. Until the final attack came, from side-control Overeem allowed Grothe enough room to turn on all fours; that’s when the guillotine showed up in Overeem’s cross-hairs.
3. OVEREEM’S GOT GUARD TOO
In the year 2000, Alistair the rookie was just the promising brother of Valentijn Overeem, the man who the following year would submit Randy Couture. Alistair took on local boy Yasuhito Namekawa in Japan and showed that his guard was more than just a shield; it was a lethal weapon.
4. REVERSE JIU-JITSU
At Dream 5 in 2008, facing the heavy-handed Mark Hunt, Overeem put all his chips on his ground game, sinking a reverse americana armbar, which the Kiwi tried defending by flipping over. Watch how it ended.
5. STRANGLING THE GEORGIAN GOOSE WITH JIU-JITSU
In 2000, Overeem again proved Helio Gracie’s Law: “There isn’t a tough guy out there who can hold out against oncoming sleep.” Against Vladimer Tchanturia at Rings 2000, Overeem faked a lunge at an arm, but what he really wanted was a neck. With his enemy’s throat exposed, the Dutchman sunk a goose-strangler, the nickname for a rear-naked choke without the arm behind the head.
What do you think, dear reader, is some big highlight missing? Think Overeem’s Jiu-Jitsu can catch the champion off guard? Post your thoughts in the comments section below: