The Reem is gearing up for a comeback! Alistair Overeem hopes to put to sleep the KO highlight of getting knocked cold by Big Foot Silva with a big win at UFC 164. Overeem is ready to return to fighting and early rumors suggest that Travis Browne will get the call at 164.
I like Travis Browne but I don’t think he is in the same class of fighters as Overeem. To me, this is the UFC teeing it up for Overeem with a fight he is supposed to win. That said, I thought the same thing when he was booked against Antonio Silva. This fight with Browne is interesting on so many levels that I am probably more excited about this than most.
Browne is the kind of fighter to me that looks great against lower tier talent but can’t hang with the big boys, kind of like Ryan Bader. Browne looked great against Gabriel Gonzaga at the TUF 17 Finale, KO’ing the heavyweight with elbows shortly into the first round. Yet at the same time Browne was coming off a fight in which he was the victim of the KO/TKO against Overeem’s dream crusher, Antonio Silva.
Overeem has probably had more fights changed since joining the UFC than anyone. Between PED tests and injuries, Overeem has been in and out of the UFC heavyweight title situation a couple of times. Overeem was previously scheduled to fight rival Junior Dos Santos at UFC 160. The fight was scrapped when Overeem pulled out due to injury. On paper Browne is a much easier fight yet that is the same kind of psychology that generally leads to upsets in sports.
I am curious what the plan here will be for Overeem. Overeem would have gotten a heavyweight title shot with a win over either Silva or JDS. I can’t imagine that he would shoot to the top with a win over Browne. Promoting Overeem is a real test for the UFC. Zuffa knows that he is money in a heavyweight title fight but also knows he is susceptible to an upset. A loss here would be terrible for the company. But do they actually have the brass ones to shoot him right into a title fight with a win?
Let’s be honest here. The criteria used for UFC fighters to get title shots has never been more murky for the promotion. The last two guys to get championship fights on pay per view were both coming off of losses, the last guy coming off a second round TKO without even a win in the division. Overeem getting a title shot next would not surprise me in the least as wrong as it would be.
Regardless, Travis Browne has a lot of pressure on him at UFC 164 if the rumors are right but nowhere near as close as Overeem and the UFC will have that night.
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