Last night at UFC156, we saw what many insiders and sports books thought we wouldn’t see: Brazilian Jui-jitsu black belt Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva stopped heavy-favorite Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem early in the third round. What was startling, yet impressive, was the fashion in which Silva disposed of Overeem. Everyone, including myself, had in mind what we thought would be the game plan for Silva coming into this fight. Overeem is a large and muscular fighter and when it comes to over muscular fighters, they tend to lack cardiovascular conditioning. Fighters like Phil Baroni fade towards the end of their bouts, should they get there to begin with. So it was no surprise that Silva was relatively passive in the opening round. I thought to myself, ok, that kind of make sense; Silva will tire Overeem out and take the fight into deep water. The second round came and went with the fight briefly going to ground… with Silva on his back. Then the third round came and it all came crumbling down for Overeem. Silva began to let his hands go and seemed to have momentarily stunned him. Without missing a step, Silva pounced on him with plethora of heavy leather and left him imitating Dave Menne against Baroni.
Now that Overeem’s title shot has disappeared quicker than the real Bigfoot in one of his own sightings, what’s next for the Dutchman? The obvious answer at this point is to place him against Junior dos Santos. With both fighters coming off losses, I couldn’t help but play “armchair matchmaker” and put these two fighters in the Octagon soon.
If the UFC is hesitant about putting two fighters coming off losses against one another, then perhaps a safer fight would be Gabriel Gonzaga, a fighter who tends to favor grappling in his fights. Or, if the UFC wants to play it super safe, feed him Todd Duffee again, since he already owns a victory over Duffee.
Anyone ZUFFA elects to match Overeem with, it’s safe to say that for now, Overeem is going straight to the back of the line. But judging by the way the UFC has recently granted title fights to undeserving fighters coming off a loss, maybe all Overeem has to do is ask for a title shot.