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Alistair Overeem signs with UFC, faces Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 on Dec. 30 | MMAjunkie.com
Alistair Overeem signs with UFC, faces Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 on Dec. 30
by MMAjunkie.com Staff on Sep 06, 2011 at 3:40 pm ET
Former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (35-11 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is UFC bound, and Brock Lesnar (5-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) will welcome him to the octagon.
UFC officials today announced that Overeem and Lesnar will meet on Dec. 30 in the main event of a rare Friday-night UFC card (expected to serve as UFC 141) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The five-round contest serves as a No.1 contender's fight, and the victor meets the winner of the Nov. 12 bout between current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and top contender Junior Dos Santos.
"This is the fight the fans want," UFC president Dana White told "The Los Angeles Times" earlier today. "Both of these guys are monsters. Can Lesnar take Overeem down?"
UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta echoed White's enthusiasm for the fight.
"Our thinking when we bought Strikeforce was to give fans the fights they want," Fertitta said. "Obviously, Alistair's one of the best heavyweights in the world, but he also has that 'it' factor – the tremendous look. He's huge. It's a star factor."
UFC officials confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) that the fight was scheduled for Friday, Dec. 30, due to the challenges that hosting an event on New Year's Eve would have presented.
Overeem, of course, was released from Strikeforce in late July following a conflict with UFC and Strikeforce officials regarding his ability to compete in a Sept. 10 bout with Antonio Silva. His Golden Glory teammates Marloes Coenen, Jon Olav Einemo and Valentijn Overeem were released shortly after, and White pointed to the team's wishes for paycheck to be issued directly to management as the cause for the move.
However, White recently revealed that Golden Glory officials reached out in an effort to reach an agreement and that negotiations were ongoing.
"We're talking," White said. "You guys know how that whole thing went down. Golden Glory was in this position where we couldn't do business, and they changed their position, which I respect. Now we can do business."
Meanwhile, Lesnar hasn't competed since an October 2010 loss to Velasquez. A second bout with diverticulitis scratched a planned summer contest with fellow "The Ultimate Fighter 13" coach Dos Santos. Lesnar's inactivity led some MMA pundits to speculate that a retirement announcement was in the works, but White recently branded the speculation as "ridiculous."
"It's so far from the truth it's not even funny," White said. "The guy's working up on a farm in Canada all summer. He's 100 percent."
Now that's gonna be a fight!
Crazy that they feed Lesnar to Overeem for his first fight back after being out for so long.
Tough fight for both guys tough.....Alistair by KO...maybe flying knee
If we see the type of grappling speed we saw in Lesnar when he first got into the octagon, it could be exciting, but Cain gave everybody the roadmap for destroying Lesnar. He's got to improve his striking skills and defense on his feet. Otherwise, he'll get eaten alive.
Gonna be a good fight. I like both guys.
This for me is a very interesting match. I like watching Lesnar grow. I was very sceptical at first but have become a fan.
As much as I like Brock I have to go with Alistair Overeem buy murder in round one.
Lesnar should NEVER have gotten a title shot after only 4 fights, although that's not his fault. But the way he acted on TUF was embarrassing and infuriating. Still, looking at his "skills" objectively, he is a great wrestler, sub-par submission artist, horrible striker, and has no heart. Three times he has all but given up while getting ground-n-pounded, and I don't expect any different in this fight. He will get humiliated by Overeem if Alistair comes in at the top of his game. I don't see this being a close fight, but I am excited as hell to see Overeem finally fight in the UFC. Been watching him in Pride, Dream, and SRC for a while now. Anybody remember his fight at 205 against Liddell back in the early 2000s? He's put on 50 pounds of muscle since getting knocked out in that fight.......(hmmmmmmm)
50lbs of muscle i dont have anything against AAS but he admits to using =) so let him and brock both juice up and go at it
We need an angry Brock on Tren to show up, not a Brock who pets kittens and eats cotton candy!