DREAM 12 Analysis: Popularity on the Rise for Alistair Overeem, Marius Zaromskis
Originally posted on BloodyElbow.com
Yesterday, I focused on the memorable comeback win by Eddie Alvarez over Katsunori Kikuno after surviving a deep standing crucifix at DREAM 12. While the battle between the two lightweight champions was easily one of the better bouts on the card, the event also featured a number of talents in the Japanese mixed martial arts scene that we'll likely be seeing in the North American scene very soon.
In the headlining bout, Alistair "Megareem" Overeem, as I like to moniker him, easily steamrolled the "Mega Punk" James Thompson as he caught him in a standing guillotine choke, the same choke that he defeated Tony Sylvester with at Ultimate Glory on October 17th. While Overeem's opponent quality is on the low end of the spectrum in his more recent mixed martial arts contests, it's apparent that these bouts are serving as a means to pushing Overeem's image to the Japanese fans as well as giving him easy paychecks for his increased popularity and drawing power.
Many fans continue to complain about Overeem's inability to defend his Strikeforce heavyweight championship stateside, but as Michael David Smith so obviously pointed out -- Overeem's recent forays in the MMA ring are simply tune-up bouts for the K-1 World Grand Prix. Any MMA fan who follows the sport and understands the differences between K-1 and MMA can easily solve the puzzle and come to the same conclusion that MDS talks about in his article, but surprisingly enough... there was enough outcry over the Strikeforce heavyweight belt that the article actually needed to be written.
Overeem is scheduled to battle Ewerton Teixiera in the opening bout at the K-1 World Grand Prix Final on December 5th, and if he manages to make it to the World Grand Prix Final and win -- he'll be one of the most sought after fighters in Japan. Strikeforce may need to head to Japan in order to reap the benefits of Overeem's popularity.