Although he has never been the UFC heavyweight champion, Alistair Overeem is undoubtedly one of the most well-known names in mixed martial arts. On the face of it, it’s hardly surprising that the 40-year-old Dutchman is a globally-recognizable star in MMA, particularly given that he made his professional debut back in October 1999. After defeating Brock Lesnar in his debut fight in the UFC, much was expected of Overeem. However, in the past nine years, the 265-pound fighter has competed for the belt on just one occasion. So, is it too late for the Demolition Man to get one last run at the title?
Matchmaking May Not Go in His Favor
Over the course of his MMA career, Overeem has been no stranger to success. As well as being the K-1 World Grand Prix champion in 2010, the now 40-year-old has also held the DREAM and Strikeforce heavyweight titles. In reality, the Dutchman is only missing the UFC’s 265-pound strap from his collection. Interestingly, in recent months, the Demolition Man has suggested that he’s out for one more run at the organization’s heavyweight belt.
However, while the Reem’s ambitions are clear for all to see, his resurgence may be coming at the wrong time. Despite coming off of back-to-back wins over Walt Harris and Augusto Sakai, Overeem is not thought to be next in line to fight for the belt. Aside from the 40-year-old, Francis Ngannou is also targeting another title shot after securing four consecutive wins. Moreover, with speculation mounting that Jon Jones is favoring a move to heavyweight, a potential match-up with Stipe Miocic doesn’t appear on the horizon.
The Reem is a True Student of the Sport
While, of course, Overeem possesses the one-punch knockout power of a genuine heavyweight, the Dutchman brought a new-found sense of technique to the division during his breakthrough years. It’s to his credit that he has often been able to pick himself up after devasting losses and, in many ways, reinvent his style. By his own admission, change has been one of the primary reasons behind his career longevity. Upon reflecting on his back-to-back defeats to Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes, the Reem stated that he often felt a need to change in order to prolong his career and remain competitive.
Rather fascinatingly, despite his age, there are growing suggestions that this is the best ever version of the Demolition Man. Crucially, Overeem is now more patient in his style and increasingly willing to take fights to the ground. Although he is still urgent in his approach, the 40-year-old no longer rushes to finish bouts.
On reflection, Overeem very much embodies MMA as a sport. As time has gone on, subtle stylistic alterations have attracted more fans to both the Reem and professional combat practices. Fundamentally, the availability of MMA-related betting markets at newly-legalized operators reflects this. For example, at many of the bonus-offering Indiana online sports betting platforms listed at BonusFinder, such as BetMGM and BetRivers, prospective bettors can now immerse themselves in numerous UFC offerings, which is a testament to the sport’s growth throughout the past decade.
UFC Belt or Not, Overeem Has Spearheaded MMA’s Growth
Regardless of whether or not Overeem does manage to land another title shot before hanging up his gloves, he’ll go down as one of the sport’s most iconic competitors. While, from a personal standpoint, the UFC’s 265-belt will complete the set, the Reem doesn’t need it to validate his contributions to MMA.