The UFC travels to Boston and the co-main event features a pair of top-tier heavyweights as Alistair Overeem battles Travis Browne. But which fighter are the odds in favor of, and where are we looking to place our UFC picks?
Alistair Overeem (36-12-1 NC, 15 KO’s, 19 Subs)
Overeem has a body chiseled in granite but unlike many of the shredded lightweights and welterweights, this man has mass. He stands 6’5” tall and walks around at about 270 before cutting weight to 260 once the bell rings. His enormity is not merely for show as he has been a heavyweight champion in Strikeforce, Dream and in the K-1 World Gran Prix. Take a moment to consider the following. In 49 professional MMA fights, Alistair Overeem has only been involved in five decisions. Only twice in 34 victories has he won on points. That’s the kind of guy I want fighting in my organization. Take no prisoners, kill or be killed.
Overeem had not been defeated since 2007 and looked virtually invincible up until he ran out of gas in the third round against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Overeem appeared as though he might finish Silva early but the big man hung in there and by the final stanza Overeem was clearly shot both mentally and physically. It was a stark reversal from the career ending beating Overeem gave Brock Lesnar in December of 2011 when he TKO’ed the former WWE champ in the first round and put him out to pasture.
Travis Browne (14-1-1, 10 KO’s, 2 Subs)
Travis Browne’s only loss came to the same man who last defeated Alistair Overeem. Yes, Bigfoot Silva TKO’ed Browne in the opening round of their match in October of last year. However, the 6’7” Hawaiian remained undeterred and rebounded with a lethal combination of punches and elbow strikes that spelled disaster for Gabriel Gonzaga as he earned a first round TKO and Fight of the Night honors at The Ultimate Fighter Finale card in April.
Browne is a destroyer on his feet and has a decent BJJ pedigree to make him just enough of a threat when the fight hits the mat. His base is rooted firmly in Muay Thai which is tailor made for his long arms and legs. His favorite technique may be knee strikes but those merely set the stage for his murderous elbows. Browne will need his entire arsenal if he is to dispose of The Demolition Man on August 17th with our UFC picks.
Overeem was initially installed at Ladbrokes as a -300 favorite in UFC odds but his stock has tumbled and has settled in at -200 in most offshore books including WilliamHill.com. Personally I’m glad the price has dropped because Overeem is just too much of a step up in class for Browne.
Unlike his fight with Silva, Overeem won’t have to worry about getting gassed out in this slugfest. This will be a war and it won’t last long. Neither fighter is prone to executing takedowns though Browne did so successfully in all three rounds against Rob Broughton where he scored a unanimous decision victory. But this fight will not be a chess match and will be decided by who launches more often and who lands cleaner.
Browne’s Muay Thai in the clinch should be nullified by Overeem’s hellacious knee strikes. Don’t go to the kitchen to grab a beer once the bell sounds in this one because someone will be on his back and chances are it will be Travis Browne. Remember, he could not withstand a withering attack by Bigfoot Silva (though in fairness, Browne did tear a hamstring but soldiered on until he was pummeled into a TKO) and probably won’t make into round two against Overeem.
Free UFC Picks: Play Overeem -200 in UFC odds at WilliamHill.com