One of the big talking points in the aftermath of UFC 156 is the crash and burn of Alistair Overeem. The former #1 contender was given what seemed like a tune-up fight against Antonio Silva, only to find himself knocked out in round 3. Already, there are a lot of explanations for the KO being tossed around – Overeem’s training with the Blackzilians is not good enough, he came into the fight too cocky, he has a glass jaw – to say nothing of the failed drug test and possible implications there.
Adding to the discussion is Reem’s countryman Bas Rutten. The former UFC Heavyweight champion took to Facebook to address some complaints that he was personally biased against Overeem, and also to explain just why he thinks the KO happened. Bas starts by offering some solid technical analysis, pointing out that after a number of KO losses a few years ago, Overeem totally changed his style. He moved up to Heavyweight and became more of a power puncher, using one shot attacks instead of combos. This allowed him to always leave one hand by his jaw, protecting him from getting KO’d.
So why didn’t this work against Bigfoot? Here’s Bas to explain:
I think the reason he lost is that he steered away from his team [Golden Glory], where a guy like Gokhan Saki would work circles around him in training, you NEED guys like that to train with because now he steered away from the “one strike attacks” and from “always having at least one hand on his jaw”, he actually didn’t have ANY hands at his jaw?…
He steered away from his “winning combination”. He started throwing combinations and that will open him up for counters. I believe in training (wherever he trains now) that he’s probably the best guy there and that nobody really poses a threat to him. Think about it, because that could be the only reason for him to steer away from what he used to do, from what he used to “NEED TO DO” otherwise he would get floored in training because of the talent he trained with.
That’s what I think, now I know he was very rude towards BF and maybe his “acting” started to take over and he started to believe himself and forgot about Fedor, so maybe he did get a little “over confident”, but still, never break a winning combination.
Interesting take from Bas here. There’s no doubt that Overeem was training at arguably the best stand-up gym in the entire world before, and while he’s still training alongside good fighters, he’s not regularly sparring with the likes of Gokhan Saki and Errol Zimmerman, and he’s not being trained by the Golden Glory staff. That’s the team that brought The Reem to his greatest glory; now that he is away from them, are we done seeing the best Alistair Overeem has to offer? After his UFC 156 performance, it’s definitely possible.
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