Myself vs. Lesnar is a huge fight and I jumped at the chance to fight him. But I don’t underestimate this man. Winning UFC belt from Randy Couture in his fourth pro MMA fight and defending it against Frank Mir and Shane Carwin was very impressive. I am also impressed by Lesnar’s fighting spirit; he has twice come back from a very serious illness and fought very tough opposition right away. He obviously has a lot of confidence in himself in fighting me after more than a year out and surgery on his stomach, and I admire that about him, but I am even more confident in myself. I will knock this guy out. He is great at takedowns and controlling people on the ground, but he I can stop his takedowns and he is no match for me on the feet. I am going to rip Brock Lesnar apart, piece by piece.
— Alistair Overeem blogging for Yahoo! Sports about his upcoming UFC debut against Brock Lesnar at UFC 141
Obviously, Alistair Overeem’s biggest key to beating to Brock Lesnar is stopping his takedowns. He seems confident in his ability to do that, but if he finds out the hard way that he can’t, Overeem does have a back-up plan. He has enlisted catch-wrestling specialist Neil Melanson, who helped Randy Couture with his grappling for his most recent fights, to prepare him for any compromising positions Lesnar might put him in when they meet on Dec. 30.
“Obviously, I’m not the wrestler that Brock is, so I’ll do my best to try to recreate that,” Melanson said. “But I’m more of a technician on the ground.
“I think I’m going to just see where Alistair’s at as far as, ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it,’ and if he’s got some areas we could improve should Brock get him down to the ground – things that he can do to stay active from the bottom and reverse the position. [We’ll also work] on ways of finishing the fight should Brock lead with his head too much, and chain submissions and things.”
Overeem is a bit underrated on the ground, mainly due to the fact that his striking game draws so much attention, so it will be interesting to see how Overeem reacts if Lesnar is able to get him down. If Lesnar can’t hold him there, Overeem may very well “rip him apart, piece by piece.”
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