Alistair Overeem has been on a tear lately, especially in the kickboxing department. After demolishing a moderately touted prospect in Ben Edwards he went on to beat Tyrone Spong, Gokhan Saki and Peter Aerts respectively. And he did it with ease. Some would say the Spong fight wasn't that easy but i'm fairly confident that The Reem fought him with the rest of the tournament in mind, meaning he took it easy.
In MMA, after moving up to heavyweight he has taken out every comer with ease as well. Now, some would say he hasn't really fought anybody and while most of them might not be worldbeaters (none of them, probably) it's safe to say he's been impressive.
His succes lately has sparkled lots of debates about whether or not Overeem could hang with the UFC heavyweights, and in these debates the main argument (besides from lack of competition) against this fact has been his so called 'bad chin'.
Whenever i browse combatsport related websites i often see people use terminology like "Fighter B has an iron chin" and "Fighter C has a glass chin". Most of the time, these statement are based on the fact that Fighter B, for example Chris Leben are seldomly knocked out, and that fighter C a fighter like James Thompson are knocked almost all of the time.
Let me start of by stating the following: Yes, some people have better 'chins' than others. This is pretty much a fact and i'm not trying to say that this isn't the case, that's not the point of this article. My point is that almost all of the time, the reason why some people are knocked out more often than others, is their defense. I mentioned James Thomson earlier, and he is a very good example of this. In my opinion he actually has a pretty solid chin, he always takes a couple of flush punches before going down and even when he does, he's almost never entirely out, just on queer street. The reason for this is that his defense is atrocious. He blocks punches with his face, and no matter how good of a chin you have got, this is never a good idea.
Over to Overeem. In his 205lbs days he has been stopped. Often. Sergei, Chuck, Shogun, you name it. Whenever there's a discussion about Overeem people always refer to these fights. "He got KO'd so much his chin is bad, Carwin will touch his chin and he will go to sleep". Not fair in my opinion. A main factor in getting knocked out is your condition. I can attest to this myself, when fresh i take punches in the face like it is no problem, but when i am at the end of a training session, not so much. And as we all know, Overeem killed himself making 205. In many of the fights he got stopped, he was winning, this was true vs Shogun, and also vs Chuck Liddell. But, he always gassed. Badly. And like i said before, being gassed does not help you with your ability to take punches well. Now that he's at heavyweight he's taking punches from multiple worldclass kickboxers and he has been stopped only by Badr Hari, who is arguably the single best finisher in K1 these days. Maybe even ever. And even in that fight the stoppage was fairly premature (Idiotic 2 knockdown rule). And he hasn't shown any signs of gassing, at all. He won a tournament where he had to fight 3 times in 1 night. Granted they were not the most grueling of fights but he was not even slightly winded. The 205 Overeem would've died halfway through the Spong fight.
It's safe to assume that weightcutting does no wonders for your ability to take punches, and it's obvious that when you're gassed, your defense lowers, and while not proven, your ability to take blows to the head (and body) lowers as well.
So to summarize:
These points lead me to believe that he will have no more of a problem taking blows than anyone else in the division. Because don't forget, it doesn't matter how big or tough you are, if a 265lbs man hits you square on the mouth, you're going to feel it, bad chin or no.
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