P. J. Go | Thu 06/07/2017 - 23:13 EDT

Werdum vs Overeem UFC 213 Picks

Werdum vs Overeem UFC 213 Picks
UFC 213 headlines a stacked International Fight Week with a critical rubber match and potential title eliminator between two heavyweight legends: former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum takes on former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem. The pair first met in 2006 under Pride FC where Werdum submitted Overeem. The rematch took place in 2011 where Overeem defeated Werdum in a decision. The main card starts Saturday, July 8, 10:00 PM ET.

Werdum vs Overeem Fight Card

When Werdum and Overeem first fought in 2006, they were both on the come up. Werdum was a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu expert and Overeem was a Muay Thai fighter. Overeem dominated the striking but made a mistake in grappling Werdum where he got quickly tapped. Five years later, the two fought in Strikeforce as different fighters. Werdum’s kickboxing was developing and Overeem was in prime “Demolition Man” form. This time, Overeem didn’t fall for Werdum’s tricks and defeated him. Now comes the rubber match in the biggest stage of them all: the UFC.

Chiesa vs Lee UFC Fight Card & Odds

Prediction TAKE OVEREEM (-130)

Both fighters have evolved over time and are two of MMA’s greatest heavyweights. They are so different and yet so similar. Werdum is a grappler who developed a kickboxing game thanks to legendary coach Rafael Cordeiro at Kings MMA.

Werdum outstruck the likes of Mark Hunt and Travis Browne (twice) while still keeping his submission game strong. Overeem is a Muay Thai fighter at his core but can wrestle and thanks to Greg Jackson, has learned to be more patient and strategic with his striking.

Werdum is the grappler who sometimes falls in love with his striking and gets too cocky like he did against Miocic. He is a notorious “troll” who enjoys goading his opponents to play his game. Overeem is a striker who either knocks out or gets knocked out.

His 10 KO losses are tied for most in the division. Like Werdum, he also gets cocky. He blitzes opponents and if he can’t finish them, gets finished himself. Under Jackson however, Overeem has learned to use his length and technique and it has paid dividends.

In this trilogy, it boils down to whoever self-sabotages himself first. Werdum may again try to goad Overeem to grapple or may get overconfident in his striking. Overeem may also make an ill-advised takedown or clinch and get wrapped up by Werdum.

Overeem has shown a better mentality in recent fights and with the better corner advice, he should outlast Werdum by keeping the fight at his range and eventually catching the Brazilian if and when he loses his cool. At slight favourite odds, he is the right bet.

Overeem Plans To Call Out Miocic

Should Overeem defeat Werdum, calling out UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic is the best course of action. Miocic defeated Overeem by first round TKO in their first meeting in UFC 203 of September last year. Despite its abrupt end, the bout was thrilling enough to be awarded the “Fight of the Night”. Overeem hurt Miocic several times but made a costly error of attempting to guillotine Miocic, which led to him being pounded unconscious.  

Controversy surrounded the fight as Overeem infamously alleged Miocic tapped and insisted on it despite several replays showing otherwise. Miocic was gracious in victory but it’s clear no love was lost between the two and to say they have unfinished business is stating the obvious.

UFC 203 sold an estimated 450,000 buys, which was a decent mark for a pay-per-view without any major stars beside the debut of WWE superstar CM Punk.

Werdum was on the same card serving in the co-headliner. He also created some headlines after opening the bout with a ridiculous flying kick that caught Travis Browne square in the face. After his lackluster decision win, Werdum kicked Browne’s trainer, Edmond Tarverdyan in the chest after the latter allegedly said nasty things to the Brazilian. Werdum lost his heavyweight title to Miocic and would also like to exact revenge and win back his championship. 

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