UFC 169 Fight Breakdown: Alistair Overeem (-330) vs. Frank Mir (+270)

Frank Mir One of the most highly-anticipated fights at UFC 169 is a heavyweight bout between Alistair “The Reem” Overeem and Frank Mir. UFC president Dana White has already hinted that the loser of the fight will be cut, meaning both fighters are more than likely in a do-or-die situation this weekend in New Jersey. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers┬álists Overeem as a -330 betting favorite (bet $330 to win $100) while Mir is a +270 underdog (bet $100 to win $270). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Overeem at -285 and Mir at +205, meaning so far the betting public is backing the favorite. I agree with the early action as I am also picking Overeem to win the fight. Overeem (36-13, 1 NC) is the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion. The 33-year-old has 15 wins by knockout and another 19 by submission, making him one of the most dangerous finishers in the entire division. A devastating striker with underrated ground skills, Overeem holds career wins over top fighters such as Fabricio Werdum, Brock Lesnar, Mark Hunt, and Vitor Belfort. Overeem fought most of his career overseas in Japan for PRIDE and DREAM, and he showed in Strikeforce that he could be a star in the United States as well. However, since coming over to the UFC in 2011 Overeem has been extremely inconsistent, going 1-2 with a win over Lesnar and two brutal knockout losses to Travis Browne and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. He also tested positive for PEDs. While it was looking like Overeem was going to be a title contender after he destroyed Lesnar at UFC 141, the back-to-back knockout losses and the positive drug test since then have really hurt his career and his job is on the line this weekend against Mir in a fight where either he or his opponent is more than likely going to get knocked out. Mir (16-8) is the former UFC heavyweight champion. The 34-year-old is a tremendous submission specialist with knockout power, and he’s defeated big-name fighters such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Roy Nelson, Brock Lesnar, Mirko Cro Cop and Cheick Kongo in his illustrious career. However, Mir is currently on a three-fight losing skid and it really seems like he’s nearing the end of his career. Once known for his mammoth strength, Mir has been pushed around in his last few fights and his chin has never been worse. At his age and with amount of damage he’s taken throughout his career, and going up against a heavy hitter like Overeem, this is more than likely going to be the end of the road for Mir this weekend at UFC 169 unless he turns back the clock and shocks the world. But that’s not very likely to happen. This fight likely takes place in the clinch, where Overeem should be much stronger early on in the fight. I see “The Reem” throwing heavy leather and some knees at Mir against the fence, and I see him finishing the fight in devastating fashion as he gets back in the win column and re-emerges as a top heavyweight fighter. At -330, I wouldn’t touch Overeem as a heavy favorite, not even in a parlay and especially after he lost via brutal KO as a favorite in his first two UFC bouts against Browne and “Bigfoot.” Having said that, there is no way I would put any money on Mir in this fight even though the odds are good as I don’t see him winning the fight outside of a fluke knockout. This is just a fight to watch as a fan and hope that there’s an entertaining highlight-reel finish. Also, even though I do think he finishes the fight, the prop bet on Overeem by decision at +765 could be worth a flier if his gameplan is to just grind out the victory and get back in the win column, which honestly wouldn’t shock me as his back is definitely against the wall here.

Written by Adam Martin.

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