Ahead of his Friday battle with fellow heavyweight giant Brock Lesnar, Alistair Overeem is taking some cues from Optimus Prime – that’s right, the leader of the Autobots.
In a special blog written for Yahoo! Sports entitled, “More Than Meets the Eye,” (which, if you grew up in the mid-eighties/early nineties, you should be well aware is the Transformers tagline) Overeem explains how his battle with Lesnar isn’t as simple as “striker vs. grappler,” as it’s being billed. For his own part, Overeem points out that his K-1 level striking is bolstered by decent wrestling and a threatening submission game, while Lesnar’s powerhouse grappling isn’t his only threat.
“While he doesn’t have world-class technique, Mr. Lesnar is a big man who can punch, and I have trained to avoid Lesnar’s strikes like I would any opponent,” says Overeem. “I will never give an opponent a chance he cannot create for himself by not preparing for any situation. It is not only about respecting Mr. Lesnar, but also respecting myself and the sport.”
Overeem writes that his mind will be free from all of the myriad distractions he’s dealt with throughout training camp when he faces down Lesnar, pushing them aside in hopes of proving a point to those who doubt him, or those who don’t yet know him.
“This fight is scheduled for five rounds, and I have trained for five, but I personally think I will win in the first round,” The Dutchman predicts. “I will knock Brock Lesnar out. Second round at the latest. I never underestimate anyone, and Mr. Lesnar is a former UFC world champion, but this is it, the chance to send a message to my fans, my critics and to UFC fans who maybe haven’t seen too much of me yet. All the talk, all the would-be distractions, all the training and the hours in the gym and on the mat – it all comes down to Friday night.”
Echoing one of Prime’s most famous and impactful declarations to his arch-nemesis, Megatron, Overeem gets in some of his final words before this Friday’s battle.
“He wants it, I want it,” he states. “One shall stand, one shall fall.”
Overeem and Lesnar will meet on December 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada in the main event of UFC 141.