There was a time when Alistair Overeem was widely considered to be the best heavyweight in the world. He was the Strikeforce heavyweight champion, the DREAM heavyweight champion, and the winner of the 2010 K-1 World Grand Prix champion.

When Overeem destroyed former champion Brock Lesnar in his UFC debut, many thought that Overeem would go on the clean out the division. But that hasn’t happened…not by a long shot.

Since picking up that win over Lesnar, Overeem is just 2-3 with all three of his losses coming by way of vicious knockout. While losing by knockout isn’t uncommon in the heavyweight division, but when you consider how he lost, it’s somewhat embarrassing. In all three losses Overeem was controlling the fight and winning the majority of the exchanges. Whether he got cocky in the cage or just got too relaxed in all three instances, his opponents capitalized on his letup.

Overeem is one of the most physically gifted fighters in the heavyweight division and his technical striking game is on another level. But his performances in the Octagon have us asking a lot of questions.

Is Overeem dedicated to being the best?

Overeem is a physical specimen and there is no question that he has worked hard over the years. But has he been putting that work in the right areas? He’s obviously dedicated to his body and nutrition, but his skill set hasn’t continued to evolve over the years. Is that a matter of his hitting his technical ceiling or just not focusing on honing those parts of his game? It would be great to see something new from Overeem when he steps into the cage with Roy Nelson at UFC 185.

Will Overeem’s chin hold up?

The biggest knock on Overeem over the years has always been his ability to take a punch as nine of his 14 career losses have come by way of knockout. For a heavyweight especially, that is a bad thing. Everyone in that division has big power and Overeem has a bullseye on his chin. Nelson is going to test Overeem’s chin on Saturday and if he can’t hold up, it’s hard to see him being in the UFC much longer.

Does Overeem have a title run in him?

Overeem is one of the most talented and experienced fighters in the UFC heavyweight division but he’s 34 and he’s been knocked out a lot. If he manages to get past Nelson on Saturday, Overeem would still need another two to three wins to secure at title shot. A lot can happen in that span of time. This fight at UFC 185 should be a good indicator of what the future will look like for Overeem.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.