UFC on Fox Sports 1 – Overeem vs Browne Set

Alistair OvereemLast week, the UFC continued to add to their August 17th debut on the new Fox Sports 1 network, which is scheduled to take place in Boston. The most notable addition was a heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne, though it will not be the headliner, which is still up in the air. When the lines are released for this bout, look for Overeem to be the heavy favorite, as his return to the heavyweight division has been much talked about, while Browne has been building momentum while flying under the radar. Overeem has a lot to prove upon his return to the octagon. He sat out all of 2012 while on a suspension for failing a PED screening, and he flopped on his return, being KO’d by Antonio Silva in a match he was supposed to win this last February. Overeem, who was suspended in the build up to a title fight with then champion Junior Dos Santos, has done nothing but disappoint since. Though he has denied PED use, few fans believe him, and he appeared to lack the sting in his strikes against Silva, looking a little slower and flabbier. Browne is coming off a fast finish of Gabriel Gonzaga. Prior to that, he lost for the first time in his career to Antonio Silva. Browne is a big puncher who does have several quality wins, including a KO over Stefan Struve, but Overeem has a massive experience advantage and is a stand up specialist who has won titles in K-1. Browne will be in the fight, but it would benefit him to land big punches early and hurt Overeem, as settling into a face to face bout heavy on striking benefits the Dutchman. If nothing else, Overeem blends in knees and kicks, and most of everything he throws has some type of bad intent. It is hard to see this turning into a ground fight, but this is also one fight where the ground game would appear to benefit Overeem as well. Browne has been with the Jackson-Winklejohn Training Center, and he owns one UFC submission win (via arm triangle over Chad Griggs) so he certainly has a working knowledge of submissions, however Overeem has been able to master a few quick submissions (notably, the guillotine) that have seen him finish multiple fights at a high level against quality grapplers. Browne needs to test Overeem’s chin early and often, and he needs to work the body. If the line of thinking that Overeem’s capacities are diminished since his suspension is correct, then Browne has a solid chance at breaking through. If Overeem is even 95 percent of what he was two years ago, then Browne is in trouble.

Written by Miguel

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