Friday December 30, 2011, UFC 141 will be remembered in the mixed martial arts world as Allistair Overeem’s triumphant entrance into the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight division, and simultaneously Brock Lesnar’s exit. Last night, in a massively one-sided beat-down, Overeem was able to capitalize on his striking and take-down defense. Bringing heavy knees and powerful hooks to the head, “The Demolition Man” stayed calm, stayed low, and stayed out of the way of Brock’s hands. Allistair expertly moved in and out of the pocket as Brock attempted to move forward, reaching for his opponent and not finding the distance, except with a couple of early strikes.
Although the fight felt a bit one sided, Brock did get the first-strike of the night, landing a squarely thrown right leg kick to Allistairs thigh. For a moment, that attack may have had fans thinking Brock would be able to keep the distance, mix it up, and get the take-down. But no sooner than the thought passed our minds, Brock shot for a single leg and Allistair simply kept his posture, and pulled his leg out. Quickly, Allistair then closed the distance, and as a result landed four knees and a dismantling left body kick. As a result of the unbearable pain (And possibly memories of a recent surgery wound), Brock’s body decided it was time for him to sit down. Allistair stormed him with a few quick right hands, one of which gets to the body with a solid amount of force, and the fight was promptly stopped. Notably all of this took place in less than one round, just as Allistair promised.
So, with all of that being said, Brock Lesnar showed us once again that he could push through the pain and fight with his best ability like always, he then told fans about how he’d promised his family that if he didn’t get the title shot after this fight it’s time to retire (An honorable side-note). Allistair on the other hand, showed us what the future of stand up in the UFC needs to look like. Allistair went on to say “Junior is next”, implying his sights are on the Heavyweight champ.
All of this expert striking emerging, to me is reminiscent of the early Brazilian Jiu Jitsu days, when Rickson and Royce Gracie were first schooling the world in the art of ground fighting. We could be entering the age of Dutch strikers, or at the very least the age of “The Demolition Man” Allistair Overeem.