UFC 213: Werdum Vs. Overeem (III)
Updated: Sep 8, 2020
Fabricio Verdum vs. Alastair Overeem -145 T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
July 8, 2017, 7:00PM Pacific
Fabricio "Vai Cavalo" Werdum and Alastair "The Reem" Overeem will meet tonight in the second fight on the main card of UFC 213. While this event will mark the first coming together of these two for a UFC promotion, Werdum and Overeem have faced off twice before.
The first match-up was in 2006, at Pride: Total Elimination Absolute. Overeem dominated the more meaningful offensive stats in the contest, landing 26 of 59 significant strikes and taking Werdum down four times on six attempts (Verdum landed a pedestrian 12 of 48 significant strikes and took Overeem down only once on four shots). However, the outcome was decided by a kimura Werdum applied late in the second round, forcing Overeem to submit.
These combatants faced off again in 2011, under the Strikeforce banner. This time, Overeem would emerge the victor, winning an easy unanimous decision (one judge graded the fight 29-28 while the other two gave Overeem the sweep). Importantly, despite a lackluster striking performance, Overeem was able to mitigate Werdum's prowess on the ground, as the Brazilian was successful on only one of 12 takedown attempts.
Heading into tonight's rubber match, we give the edge to Overeem in all significant areas: in addition to a two year age advantage, the Brit boasts a wingspan three inches greater than that of his South American rival. Also, Overeem is the bigger, more powerful contestant, weighing in at more than 30 pounds heavier than Werdum, and boasting a 50% KO/TKO rate (vs. Werdum's 29%). Further, Overeem is the more accurate striker, as well as the better defender.
Some analysts are factoring in allegations of the use of performance-enhancing drugs (by Overeem) into their thinking. While we concede that Overeem did fail a drug test administered by the Nevada Athletic commission in 2012, we are unaware of any further violations. Since that point, however, but after floundering for a time, Overeem's hands have ended contests with Stefan Struve, Junior Dos Santos, Andrei Arlovski and Mark Hunt (blemishing Overeem's string of recent stoppages is his KO in main event of UFC 203, by Stipe Miocic). Thus, Overeem's recent outings suggest thunder still lives in his fists. In fact, we would not be surprised to see Overeem get the knock-out against Werdum this evening.