Alistair Overeem employed a much more patient fighting style at UFC 169 and it produced success in a lopsided decision victory over Frank Mir. Overeem battered Mir throughout the course of the contest to emerge with a 30-27 verdict on all three of the judges’ scorecards. “The Reem” nearly finished the fight in the opening round after delivering a vicious knee to the jaw of his opponent. However, Overeem clearly learned his lesson from a prior knockout loss to Travis Browne, as he didn’t empty the gas tank in going for the kill.
In the Browne defeat at Fight Night 26, Overeem threw everything but the kitchen sink at his opponent in the opening round only to tire and was eventually stopped. The badly needed victory halted a two-fight losing skid and should allow him to maintain his top 10 status within the division.
In suffering a career-high fourth straight loss, Mir showed tremendous heart in surviving to the end. It was only his toughness that prevented Overeem from picking up the 35th finish of his career. Mir was a bloody mess by the end of the fight, as he absorbed brutal knees, body kicks, punches, elbows and hammer fists during the three-round affair. His highly decorated career could conceivably be coming to an end, as it is hard to picture where the former UFC heavyweight champion goes from here after this latest setback.
Strangely enough after the victory, instead of calling out one of the heavyweight division’s top contenders, Overeem stated he’d be waiting if Brock Lesnar makes a return. Overeem destroyed Lesnar in the first round of their contest at UFC 141. A possible Lesnar return has been a hot topic in the last few weeks, but there seems to be nothing imminent when it comes to the current WWE star returning to the Octagon.
Top contender and former champ Junior dos Santos had indicated an interest in facing Overeem if he was victorious against Mir. The two fighters had a scheduled title bout at UFC 146 fall through because of a failed pre-fight drug test for Overeem. A later matchup at UFC 160 was scuttled because of an injury to “The Reem.” A potential fight between those two devastating strikers might be the best available option moving forward.