Crucial Heavyweight Fight could make or break Overeem/Browne

Posted: August 16, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion, UFC Events
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alistair-overeem-post-ufc-141Tomorrow night’s heavyweight bout between Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem may be the biggest fight on the entire event. Although Chael Sonnen and Mauricio Rua will headline, there’s really no more important fight than this one.

The common denominator with these two is Antonio Silva. Bigfoot ended the hopes of both men to advance to the next level in the UFC. For Overeem, the knockout loss cost him a shot at the title. For Browne, getting knocked out probably cost him a trip to the top 5 in the division. Now both are scrambling to get back what they lost.

Browne has proven to be better than most. He’s been able to defeat every lower and mid tier UFC fighter he’s faced. His most important victories have come against Stefan Struve and his most recent bout with Gabriel Gonzaga. Overeem represents a different level. A win over the former Dream and Strikeforce champion would move Browne into some rare air—and close to a title shot.

This night is important for Overeem in a different way. He’s been given a series of opportunities since entering the UFC. Both of his fights have been title eliminators—and he blew them both. First in a win over Brock Lesnar, he failed a drug test, temporarily taking him out of contention. Next, his sure-win over Bigfoot fell apart in the final round, again costing him a title shot.

Could Browne squash Overeem’s quest for a title shot for a 3rd consecutive time? Or will Overeem show Browne that he really doesn’t belong in the upper tier of fighters at heavyweight? I have a feeling one of those things is about to happen tomorrow night.


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