Former UFC Heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum takes on Alistair Overeem in a battle of Top 3 UFC Heavyweights. The two will fight in the main card of UFC 213 on July 8th, 2017 at the T-Mobile Arena.
Both Aiming At Another Title Shot
Werdum has won seven of his last eight fights and is coming off a win over Travis Browne at UFC 203. One fight earlier, Werdum lost the UFC Heavyweight title via first round knockout to Stipe Miocic in Brazil at UFC 198. The #1 ranked Werdum is looking for another shot at gold. A victory over the #3 ranked Overeem would almost certainly give him that.
Overeem, meanwhile, is coming off a 3rd round knockout of Mark Hunt at UFC 209. The former Strikeforce Heavyweight champion has won five of his last six bouts with his only loss coming during his title challenge against Miocic at UFC 203. Overeem’s last three victories have been by stoppage. A victory over Werdum could also lead to another title shot versus Miocic.
Breaking The Tie
This is the third fight between these two massive individuals, but their first meeting in the UFC promotion. Werdum won their first fight at Japan’s Pride Promotion in 2006 by kimura submission. Five years later, Overeem returned the favor when the two met at Strikeforce in 2011. Overeem won that fight by unanimous decision.
Fast forward another six years and they meet again in a bout that will not only break the tie but also decide which one continues with his title quest. Werdum is now 39 and Overeem 37 and this could very well be their last run at the UFC Heavyweight belt, now owned by Stipe Miocic, who owns victory over both.
Odds and Prediction
Overeem is the slight favorite here at -150, while Werdum is the underdog at +110. Eleven years after they first fought, their styles haven’t changed a lot, except perhaps for Werdum, who has developed an elite striking game. Despite that, the Brazilian still prefers to fight on the ground, where he has the advantage over every other heavyweight in the business.
Werdum’s such a great grappler and excellent submission artist and he’d rather stay down rather than strike with Overeem. Reem prefers to strike where he owns some of the most vicious kicks in the business. But that doesn’t mean he can’t fight on the ground. Nineteen of the Dutchman’s 42 wins have come by submission, so he’s no joke there either. With his versatility and the superior striking skills, we’re going with Alistair Overeem here.
Unless Werdum can take this fight to the ground, Overeem’s more diverse game makes him a good pick here.
Pick: Alistair Overeem by early knockout or unanimous decision.