Contributor: Earl Montclair
Sometimes in life, an individual or an entity has to cut their losses and move on. It’s just a fact of life that happens both personally and professionally. People take advantage, break trust, underperform and sometimes just flat out disappoint. The UFC has had two of these individuals on their roster since Strikeforce was absorbed. One of them is the allegedly retired fighter and current bush-league fight promoter, Nick Diaz. The other was left in a heap Saturday night by a 6’7” Hawaiian. That man is Alistair Overeem, and after 2 straight KO losses, I say it is time for him to be cut.
This goes far beyond the simple fact that he has been viciously knocked out in his last two fights against inferior strikers. Hell, a barely adequate striker in Antoinio Silva left The Reem snoring on the canvas using a technical ability unseen since Rock Em Sock Em Robots. If it were purely the losses, I would understand him getting another fight. He is a massive guy with a great look, charisma, a fan pleasing fighting style, and he is in one of the shallowest divisions in the UFC. The issues that send Overeem to the unemployment line are that of his character, specifically his failed drug test and his self-destructive level of arrogance.
After Reem dumptrucked Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 fans were lustily anticipating a showdown between himself and Junior dos Santos. The fight was booked and the best striking based UFC title fight ever was set to go down until Alistair failed a pre-fight drug test, resulting in a suspension and the bout being scrapped. The idea that he could fail a test came as a surprise to absolutely no one but it does show a major character flaw on his part. He was more than willing to forsake millions of dollars, his credibility and completely screw up the plans of his employer. Make no mistake, this was the biggest fight of his life and he unequivocally blew it.
Second chances are another part of life and a valuable thing most people deserve. Zuffa felt as though Overeem deserved one so once his suspension was up, he was booked to fight Bigfoot Silva in a #1 Contender match. Overeem approached the cage, techno music blaring, with an aura of arrogance and overconfidence not seen since Lex Luger’s run as “The Narcissist”. He was dominating Silva, albeit in a lackluster fashion, for the first 9:50 of the fight. In the waning seconds of the middle frame, the lumbering Brazilian landed a missile on Overeem and even though he had a minute to recover, he was broken mentally. Bigfoot
came out and put an epic beating on him in the opening seconds of the 3rd and the man who had just a few moments before been cruising to a title shot, lay against the cage unconscious, with a victorious giant standing above him screaming at his corpse.
Cut to Saturday night and The Reem’s latest chance at redemption. He really had a chance to make a statement in this fight against Travis Browne on free TV with the world watching. He again, dominated the early part of the fight but this time, with a brutality and ferocity not seen in the Silva fight. He could not finish Hapa with this early blitz and yet again, he was mentally defeated. Travis Browne added his name to the Front Kick Hall Of Fame and put Alistair Overeem to bed, notching the biggest win of his career.
Overeem’s apparent arrogance I believe comes from a place of deep insecurity, hence the PED use. This front that he puts on (standing with his hands down in front of massive men with fists the size of 1000 refrigerators) is what causes him to wake up in the arms of Mario Yamasaki and Herb Dean almost as much as the beautiful women of Japan. Given his PED use, recent losses, and utter disdain for winning fights tailor made to give him success, I say it’s time for him to hit the bricks. Junior do Santos, Cain Velasquez and Georges St Pierre are the kind of guys the UFC can hitch their wagons to and trust with their marketing machine. They show up, do the PR, pass drug tests and win fights. Alistair Overeem only does two of those things and the two things he doesn’t do and the reasons he should not be allowed to have a future career in the UFC. He has flushed his career down the toilet and has nobody to blame but himself. Simply put: Alistair Overeem is a fraud and a liability. It’s time for him to go away.
-Earl can be reached @EarlMontclair.