After snapping a two fight losing streak with a career saving win over Frank Mir at UFC 169 last February, Alistair Overeem hopes to go up the UFC Heavyweight ladder when he collides with Ben Rothwell in UFC Fight Night 50 on September 5th at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino near Ledyard, Connecticut.
Overeem has a mediocre 2-2 record in the UFC after becoming one of the most anticipated additions to its roster in 2011. Overeem had a sensational UFC debut when he retired former heavyweight Brock Lesnar in just one round at UFC 141. But a failed drug test led to a nine month suspension that sidelined him for the entire 2012. Overeem returned to action at UFC 156 against Antonio “Big Foot” Silva. An overconfident Overeem ran out of gas and got knocked out by Silva after winning the first two rounds convincingly. His third UFC fight was against up and coming heavyweight Travis Browne on August 2013. Again, Overeem dominated the early parts of round one before Brown recovered and knocked him out cold with a front kick and punches.
Living Up to the Hype
Alister Overeem (37-13, 15 KOs and 19 submissions) is a former Strikeforce heavyweight champion and former Dream heavyweight titlist. He is the only fighter to hold world tiles is MMA and K-1 kickboxing at the same time. His win over Brock Lesnar not only gave him an auspicious debut, but it proved that he could live up to the hype built by the UFC.
But since then, Overeem has failed a lot of people including UFC president Dana White. White castigated Overeem’s performance against Mir and despite getting the win, Alistair took the criticism seriously by relocating to the legendary Jackson MMA in New Mexico to train for this bout. He had surgery last April to repair a pinched nerve in his elbow.
Coming Off A Suspension
Ben Rothwell (33-9, 19 KOs and 11 submissions) is a former IFL star who moved to the UFC in 2009 following a contract dispute. Rothwell made his UFC debut at UFC 104 where he was knocked out by Cain Velasquez in round 2. He is 3-3 in the UFC, and his last outing was a 3rd round TKO victory over Brandon Vera in UFC 164.
But Rothwell got into controversy following the Vera bout because he was tested to have elevated testosterone levels. But because Rothwell had a medical exemption to use TRT, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services only gave him a warning. The UFC however, decided to suspend him for nine months due to the failed drug test. The Overeem bout will be his first since the suspension.