UFC Fight Night 50 Fight Breakdown: Alistair Overeem vs Ben Rothwell

Ben-Rothwell The co-main event at UFC Fight Night 50 is a three-round heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Ben Rothwell. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Lewis is a -570 favorite (bet $570 to win $100) while Rothwell is a +435 underdog (bet $100 to win $435). MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas opened Overeem at -380 and Rothwell at +260, and so far the public has been all over “The Reem.” I agree Overeem should be the favorite but the line is out of whack and at this point I see value on Rothwell as the underdog. Here’s why. Overeem (37-13, 1 NC) is one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division. The 34-year-old Dutchman is 2-2 in the UFC with wins over Brock Lesnar (TKO) and Frank Mir (UD) and losses to Bigfoot Silva (KO) and Travis Browne (KO). Overeem also has wins over Mark Hunt (SUB), Fabricio Werdum (UD), and Vitor Belfort (SUB, UD) from his days in PRIDE and Strikeforce, where he was their former heavy champion. Overeem is known for his excellent striking skills and knockout power (15 career knockout wins), but he also has an underrated submission game, having won 19 career fights via submission. Overeem is a very well-rounded fighter with excellent wrestling skills to go along with his striking and submission skills. However, he has one major flaw — his chin. Overeem has been knocked out eight times in his career and at 34 his ability to take a shot is worsening. Because of his muscular frame, his cardio is always a question mark although the move to Jackson’s camp should help him out in that regard. Overeem should win this fight, but the same could be said of his fights against Bigfoot and Browne, and we all saw what happened in those fights. Rothwell (33-9) is a veteran of the sport and a gatekeeper in the heavyweight division. The 32-year-old American is 3-3 in the UFC with wins over Brandon Vera (TKO), Brendan Schaub (KO) and Gilbert Yvel (UD) and losses to Cain Velasquez (TKO), Gabriel Gonzaga (SUB) and Mark Hunt (UD). In addition to those wins, he also has a win over Roy Nelson (SD) in the IFL days. Overall he has 19 wins by knockout and 11 more by submission. Rothwell is your prototypical heavyweight brawler. He’s a tough dude with a thick skull and extreme knockout power in his hands. In his last fight, he actually looked surprisingly quick for a big man, using his footwork to confuse Vera on the feet and then knock him out. However, that fight was over a year ago now and Rothwell has been siting out the whole time on suspension due to TRT usage. Those factors are both red flags for sure, and can’t be overlooked. Beating Vera might not mean a whole lot, but Rothwell did show he still has knockout power in that fight and he’ll need to use it if he plans on upsetting Overeem in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 50. Heavyweight fights can end at any time, especially when one or both of the fighters has a questionable chin and especially in cases where the fight stays standing. In this case, Rothwell has a solid chin while Overeem has one of the worst in the division (eight knockout losses against), and I fully expect this fight to play out on the feet. Overall, Overeem is for sure the better fighter and has the better standup, but his chin is not good and nothing can fix that. I understand why everyone thinks “The Reem” will win the fight but at the price, I have to take a small stab at Rothwell as a +435 underdog as a pure value bet just because I really don’t trust Overeem’s chin and Rothwell is a very heavy hitter and has the ability to win the fight by KO at any time. It’s not my most confident pick on the card, but the value is there, just as it was when Bigfoot fought Overeem just last year.

Written by Adam Martin.

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