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UFC 209: Is Alistair Overeem Going Out On His Shield Versus Mark Hunt?

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If I were to say that UFC 209 was just another fight card then I would give you the permission to feel free to punch me directly in the nose for lying. If anything, UFC 209 is proving to be one of the stronger cards of 2017 so far and that’s in big part due to the main and co-main event. But though the main attractions are very much the selling point for this fight card, there a ton of other great matches to enjoy this weekend. Namely the heavyweight showdown between Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt.

Both men have lost their last bouts. Alistair Overeem was brutally knocked out by champ Stipe Miocic while Mark Hunt lost a controversial decision to former champion Brock Lesnar. Where Mark Hunt was competitive and essentially fighting a suped up version of Lesnar, Overeem faced off against a game and talented champion in form of Miocic. Overeem proved himself to be a match for the champ, but once again allowed his technical holes to shine through.

Overeem had his moments in the fight, mainly from the southpaw stance where he threw his back leg round kick and left cross with power and accuracy. But as the fight carried on and Overeem got clipped, we saw him take bigger chances with wilder shots that hit air. Not only that, he found himself with his back against the fence far too many times which opened him up to strikes. Ultimately a poorly executed low line sidekick would be his undoing as Miocic secured a takedown and proceeded to bounce punches off of Overeem’s chin.

Mark Hunt’s last battle was against a juiced up Brock Lesnar who looked to take the fight to the ground early and often. Hunt won’t have to worry about that when he enters the cage against Overeem. Hunt will be at a height disadvantage, but that shouldn’t be much of a concern for him considering that he’s always on the wrong end of the reach/height equation. The leaping left hook and counter right hand will be his best friends in this fight as Overeem has a tendency to drop his hands as he gets comfortable in the fight.

Overeem will want to keep Hunt at bay with front kicks and the left cross. Another great idea would be for him to execute the low line sidekick against Hunt. While he didn’t have too much success with it against Miocic, it’s a safe bet that Hunt won’t be looking to take the fight to the ground. The sidekick will destabilize Hunt’s movements and prevent him from just leaping forward as he tends to do.

Usually I’d make my prediction and just carry on, but instead I wanted to take the opportunity to discuss something that’s been on my mind in regards to Alistair Overeem.

When will he decide to hang it up?

I know, I know, after a veteran fighter loses a match by knock out there’s a tendency for everyone to kick a person while they’re down, call for their retirement. But in the case of Alsitair Overeem we’re looking at an individual who has lost by knock out ten times in his career, and that’s just in regards to his MMA match ups. He’s been knocked out in kickboxing bouts as well and you also have to consider all the training camps he’s been through in his career. If he suffers another devastating this Saturday night it’s certainly grounds for him to consider hanging it up. Either Overeem sees this as a chance to once again prove he’s the cream of the crop or this may be the modern example of going out on your shield in battle. Either way, when the bill comes due one can only hope that Overeem makes it through the other side no worse for ware.

Who do you think wins at UFC 209?

Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Twitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

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