The sky is falling, the sky is falling is how the MMA media described Alistair Overeem’s stunning loss to Bigfoot Silva at UFC 156. Yet a closer look at MMA history shows that the drama was nothing more than a big overreaction by fans and media.
You need to follow certain writers or social media members to get a handle on it but it was clear right away who the haters and the fans were. The haters were the ones who have criticized Overeem since he walked into the UFC and crushed Brock Lesnar in 2011. These are the same haters who criticized Overeem even before that for his massive gains in size and favorable schedule. These are the same critics who wanted to see Overeem fail and had one hand on the keyboard and a big smile on their face waiting to type about the over-hyped UFC heavyweight. In other words these are hardly what I’d call objective opinions.
The idea that a guy could lose one fight and all of the sudden lose all of his marketability is preposterous. Chuck Liddell, Brock Lesnar, Randy Couture, Georges St-Pierre, BJ Penn, and countless others have lost fights and either not lost a thing at the box office or wound up drawing more money at some point after suffering their first loss in the UFC. Anyone predicting the end of Overeem as big draw against Velasquez is someone who hasn’t followed UFC history. It’s almost as if none of these writers or fans remember their heroes ever losing in their primes.
Let’s face it, the situation isn’t good. The worst idea here would be to move forward with Overeem challenging Velasquez, which is something that is not in the UFC’s plans. I won’t insult you by telling you that Overeem losing was a good thing. It wasn’t. But MMA fans have short memories. Heck, Cain Velasquez was knocked out in front of one of the biggest MMA audiences in history in under a minute! All he needed was one fight in which he absolutely obliterated Antonio Silva to earn back his credibility. Now the guy is regarded as unbeatable.
How about this scenario? Alistair Overeem wins his next two fights handily with knockouts or TKO’s. Fast forward to 12-18 months from now and are you really going to tell me that an indestructible Velasquez against a red hot Overeem is going to draw any less than what the fight would have drawn if Overeem survived against Bigfoot? Of course not! The fight would be huge and lucky for Overeem, the competition right now at heavyweight isn’t very stellar. The only real threat to Overeem is Junior Dos Santos. If Overeem can either beat JDS or avoid the fight entirely, it is not impossible to for Overeem to get two decisive wins in a row.