It is rare for a bout between two top 10 fighters to look so horribly one-sided as this contest scheduled for the UFC’s annual Super Bowl weekend card on the 4th of February.
Both Alistair Overeem (36-13, 1 NC) and Frank Mir (16-8) are looking to end a torrid run of results which has seen the pair lose a combined five fights in a row. Overeem has been knocked out in his last two contests; the first loss to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, snapping a 12-fight win streak stretching all the way back to September 2007. The “Demolition Man” was then the subject of a stunning first-round knockout at the hands (and foot) of rising star Travis Browne in August of last year, and will be hoping to steady the ship against a dwindling Mir who looks to be in the twilight of his storied career.
Since a three-fight win streak was brought to a halt by Junior Dos Santos in Mir’s third UFC title fight in May 2012, the 34-year-old has dropped his past three bouts and has been knocked out in two of them. The latest loss to Josh Barnett in August of last year marked the seventh time Mir has been stopped via (T)KO in his 13-year career, and Overeem is certain to add to that number in February.
The reality of this fight is simple. Mir does not have the tools to beat Overeem. He has demonstrated improved stand-up stills in recent years and he certainly has the power to test Overeem’s questionable chin, but the size, strength, speed and technical advantages all lie with his opponent.
Despite his Dutch kickboxing background, Overeem has vastly underrated takedown defense and should face little trouble fending off Mir’s trip takedowns. Of course, if the fight was to hit the ground Mir would be at an overwhelming advantage, but getting Overeem down will prove to be an impossible task. The only unknown aspect of this bout is how long Mir will last. If Overeem decides to be the aggressor, the fight ends early and viciously. If he adopts a slightly cautious approach given his recent losses, he will chip away with leg kicks and body shots before ending the fight late in the second round.
Looking ahead, this will probably be the last time we see Mir in the Octagon. A fourth loss in a row would remove all lingering possibilities of another title shot, and at this stage of his career, one must wonder how much he has left in the tank.