UFC: Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem set for Dec. 30
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Brock Lesnar will return to the UFC octagon in a five-round main event Dec. 30 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, facing newly signed former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem.
‘Brock is a big name, a dangerous guy, and this is a dream matchup,’ Overeem told The Times on Tuesday, just after signing a standard UFC fight contract in the office of Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta. ‘Brock’s a big guy, an exciting wrestler with his takedowns.
‘I want to see this fight myself. Overall, I’m a different fighter. A striker, athletic, big. These are going to be two big trucks going at it on a collision course.’
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Overeem, 31, is a former K-1 kickboxing champion too, He most recently defended his Strikeforce belt in June with a unanimous decision over takedown specialist Fabrio Werdum, who had previously defeated Fedor Emelianenko.
Lesnar has been out of action since losing his UFC heavyweight belt to Cain Velasquez in October at Anaheim’s Honda Center, suffering a return episode of the intestinal ailment diverticulitis. The Dec. 30 winner will be first in line to fight the winner of a Nov. 12 fight between Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos.
‘This is the fight the fans want,’ UFC President Dana White said. ‘Both of these guys are monsters. Can Lesnar take Overeem down?’
Fertitta said the Strikeforce belt won’t be part of the promotion. The UFC has purchased Strikeforce.
‘Our thinking when we bought Strikeforce was to give fans the fights they want,’ Fertitta said. ‘Obviously, Alistair’s one of the best heavyweights in the world, but he also has that ‘it’ factor -- the tremendous look, he’s huge. It’s a star factor.’
Overeem said he’s exploring setting up training headquarters in Los Angeles.
-- Lance Pugmire