On Sunday, May 8, 201, the UFC will head to the Netherlands for the first time ever as UFC Fight Night 87 is set to take place at the Ahoy Rotterdam in Rotterdam. In the main event of the evening the Netherlands’ own Alistair Overeem will look to extend his current win streak to four as he is set to face former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.

Arlovski enters this bout looking to get back in the win column. After a six years away from the UFC Octagon Arlovski rejoined the organization as a fighter re-born. In his first four bouts Arlovski looked primed and ready for another run at UFC gold; going 4-0 with two impressive finishes. But earlier this year at UFC 195 Arlovski ran into the wrecking ball that is Stipe Miocic. It’s now or never for Arlovski if he wants one more shot at the title; at 37-years-old Arlovski can’t afford to take another step back.

Overeem on the other hand appears to have found his footing in the UFC. After going just 2-3 – with all three losses coming by way of knockout – Overeem has rattled of three straight victories. Including an impressive TKO victory over former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos. A win over another former champion in Arlovski would be more than enough to earn him a shot at the title.

As two of the most consistent and impressive finishers in the UFC heavyweight division fans should be ready for an exciting bout; just don’t expect it to go the distance.

Striking

Overeem and Arlovski are both dynamic power strikers on the feet and both men possess devastating knockout power. But as a former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion Overeem should have a slight edge on the feet. Arlovski is a gifted striker and he will like have a speed advantage but Overeem’s years of competing against world-class kickboxers should allow him to handle anything Arlovski has to throw at him.

Advantage: Overeem

Grappling

It’s difficult to imagine this bout becoming a grappling affair but stranger things have happened inside the Octagon. With his Dutch Kickboxing background Overeem is extremely strong in the clinch and he understands how to control and manipulate leverage. But coming from a world class Sambo background Arlovski has a lot of tools and skills to work with. While he may not go to that well very often Arlovski can be a dominating grappler.

Advantage: Arlovski

Submissions

Even though Overeem is known primarily as a world-class striker he actually has more submission victories than he does knockouts; 19 Submissions to 17 knockouts. But even though Overeem has an impressive amount of submissions to his credit he would be hard pressed to catch Arlovski who has never been submitted.

Advantage: Even

X-Factor

The biggest X-Factor heading into this bout for both men is easy; whose chin will stand up to the test? Both men are feared for their striking acumen but both men have been knocked out on multiple occasions; Overeem has been put to sleep nine times while Arlovski has been put down eight times. With all of the heavy leather that will be flying on Sunday night the fighter who can withstand the most punishment will be the victor.

Prediction

Arlovski looked great through the first few bouts of his UFC return but he got destroyed by Miocic. That kind of loss coupled with the wave of momentum Overeem is riding right now will be too much for Arlovski to overcome. Overeem will add another former UFC champion to his list of victims.

Overeem via TKO/KO, Round 2

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.