Sports

Was Fabricio Werdum Robbed Against Alistair Overeem?

Fabricio Werdum may have fought one of the most annoying fights in MMA history on Saturday night but is that grounds for a loss? A closer look at Werdum vs. Overeem fight statistics show that the wrong guy may be advancing in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix tournament.

I came across a fascinating blog today on 5thround.com that discussed the official Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum fight stats from their  Grand Prix quarter-finals fight. If you break down the numbers according to the statistics, Werdum actually won the fight. 5thround.com did the math and Werdum comes out the victor 29-28 on the scorecards. Was the wrong man’s hand raised at the American Airlines Center on Saturday night?

5thround.com broke down the number of strikes. “According to the UFC’s official number crunchers, Werdum landed 62 total strikes to Overeem’s 46. The submission specialist also connected on 43 total significant strikes, while “The Demolition Man” only scored 32 times.

Look, I am not a Fabricio Werdum apologist. Quite frankly, it would be a bit of poetic justice to see him robbed of the fight considering how much time he robbed from MMA fans tuning in to see that travesty on Saturday night. But, what is fair and fair and by the numbers, Werdum won and Alistair Overeem lost the fight.

It is interesting because I remember watching the fight and thinking that the biggest joke of all here is going to be watching Werdum advance in the tournament after the shenanigans he pulled for three rounds. I certainly wasn’t sitting there keeping fight metrics but to me, it just appeared that Werdum was landing more strikes than Overeem. It also appeared that Werdum had better power strikes than Werdum. I was surprised going into the third round when the announcers talked about what a runaway win it was for Overeem at that point. I thought I was seeing things.

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The only thing that I can think of (like the writer at 5th round) is that cage control is what won the fight for Overeem. Maybe the judges gave Overeem more credit for being in a top position, although Werdum defenders could definitely argue that he was in the more advantageous position on the bottom.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that Overeem disputes any idea that he lost by the numbers. Overeem told Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour that he felt he won the fight.

I won the fight but I was not satisfied,” Overeem said. “I didn’t get a KO. I worked hard, and when i look at the fight, I did dominate him. I stuck to the game plan but you have to give credit to Fabricio — he was prepared. He was not going to get suckered into my game, which is the stand up, and he got me out of my game. His takedowns were not successful, but I think he trained hard for this fight, he really wanted to win. I felt his power and he was there to win.

Regardless of what the stats say, Overeem officially won the fight. These numbers likely won’t be a big issue if Overeem goes on to win the Strikeforce tournament. I also wouldn’t take anything away from it. There are plenty of sports teams that struggle in their opening round playoff series or match and roll to the championship. I am not saying that Overeem is going to win the tournament, I just wouldn’t count him out specifically based on these numbers or Saturday’s fight.

Unfortunately for Werdum, I can’t imagine many MMA fans protesting the result, wishing to see him fight again in the tournament…if ever again in Strikeforce.


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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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