Bet: Under 1.5
Stake: 10/10 units
Profit: -10 units
Junior dos Santos (1.28) vs. Alistair Overeem (3.75) – UFC Heavyweight Division
dos Santos is 11-2 in UFC, 17-3 overall. Last 5: W-L-W-L-W
Overeem is 4-3 in UFC, 39-14-1 overall. Last 5: L-W-L-W-W
Junior dos Santos
dos Santos (31) has been pretty inactive of late, having only fought Stipe Miocic (narrow decision win) in the last 26 months. It’s probably a good thing as a rest was well and truly needed coming off those two brutal title fight losses to Cain Velasquez. Started his UFC career an incredible 9-0 with UFC wins over Werdum, Struve, Crocop, Yvel, Gonzaga, Nelson, Carwin, Velasquez and Mir. Excellent boxing with 12/17 wins by KO. Showcased a different side to his striking arsenal with an incredible wheel kick KO of Mark Hunt. Takedown defence has looked good, as well as his ability to get back to his feet. BJJ black belt but we really haven’t really seen any ground game to speak of so far. Still young in terms of HW’s, the divison is full of guys pushing 40. Has moved from Nova Uniao to train at American Top Team for this fight.
Overeem (35) has had an up and down UFC career but he’s strung together back to back wins (Struve, Nelson) for the first time since 2011 and will be able to make a strong case for a title shot eliminator with a win here. UFC KO losses to Big Foot Silva, Browne and Rothwell (the former two he was comfortably winning before remarkable comebacks – something that has been a recurring theme of Overeem’s career). A veteran of the game having started fighting professional MMA in 1999, also has an extensive Kickboxing background including a K-1 Grand Prix win in 2010. Competed in a stacked PRIDE FC 2002-2007, going 7-7 with wins over Vitor Belfort x2, Sergei Kharitonov and Igor Vovchanchyn but he also suffered brutal stoppage losses to Chuck Liddell, Shogun Rua x2, Fabricio Werdum, Ricardo Arona and Little Nogueira. More known for his striking but he actually has more submission wins (19 vs 16) with a particularly good guillotine choke. 9/14 losses by KO (not counting K-1 knockouts), his brain has been rattled many times and he has never shown an ability to come back from a sticky situation. Nowadays fighting out of Jacksons MMA and he does seem to have adopted a more tactical, gameplanning approach to fighting. Last fight on his contract, high stakes for ‘the Reem’.
This fight is some time in the making having originally fallen through a few years back. dos Santos may not be the same fighter who won the UFC HW title back in 2011 but I also think his regression has been overstated slightly having been based on a close fight with a very tough and talented Miocic. dos Santos is still a dreadful match-up for Overeem. He has proven ability to eat punches and his power will give Overeem serious problems if (when) it connects. His first clean strike will be the beginning of the end IMO. I expect it to happen in round 1. Under 1.5 rounds is the bet.