UFC 156’s Overeem Looks To Announce Himself As #1 Contender With Win Over “Bigfoot”

By Adam Martin

The Number 1 contender spot in the UFC heavyweight division is up
for grabs, and it’s Alistair Overeem’s goal to take it and run.

Overeem, the gargantuan UFC heavyweight, takes on fellow
behemoth Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in a featured main card bout at this weekend’s
UFC 156, which takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.
It’s expected that if Overeem defeats “Bigfoot” he will fight UFC heavyweight
champion Cain Velasquez later this year for the belt.

It’s been a long time coming for Overeem, who was due to fight
former champ Junior dos Santos back at UFC 146 for the belt. Overeem had earned
the title shot with his TKO victory over former divisional kingpin Brock Lesnar
at UFC 141, but he was pulled from UFC 146 when he tested positive for elevated
testosterone and was suspended for nine months by the Nevada State Athletic
Commission. But with a victory over Silva, he’ll climb right back into that #1 contender’s spot.

Of course, a win this weekend is no gimme.

“Bigfoot” is constantly the underdog in big fights, and he
often comes through. Everyone remembers his incredible upset victory over the
legendary Fedor Emelianenko, but don’t forget he was a sizeable underdog
against both Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne, and he came through with
shining colours in each instance. Against Overeem, though, he’s facing a
different beast, a hulking physical specimen who possesses the knockout power
and size that can challenge “Bigfoot’s” big chin, and I don’t think it’s a test
he’s going to pass.

I’m not writing “Bigfoot” off in this matchup completely, but
let’s just say there’s a reason most of the sports books have Overeem listed as
a near 4-to-1 favorite at the moment. Yes, Silva is arguably a more complete
fighter than Overeem, but his head is a huge target and one that Overeem will
look to punch very, very hard.

Should Overeem win, the UFC has a blockbuster fight on their
hands when he faces off against Velasquez at a later date. Both men are very
sellable, especially Overeem with his muscular and defined physique, and a
pay-per-view headlined by these two beasts would likely do over 600,000 buys,
which would be a huge PPV for the UFC, considering it wouldn’t involve Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen, Rashad Evans, Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva, the
UFC’s top five PPV draws.

In a shallow heavyweight division, the UFC
needs Overeem to come through and for Velasquez, who already defeated Silva at
UFC 146, to have a new challenger. Expect Overeem to step into the cage on
Saturday night and look better than ever, knocking out Silva in the first round
and calling out Velasquez during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. And
oh, what a fight that’s going to be.

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