Just under two years ago, Alistair Overeem flew to Las Vegas to sign with the UFC. The company's owner Lorenzo Fertitta personally signed the fighter and cut him a check for a rumored $1 million signing bonus. At the time Overeem was the ex-Strikeforce HW champion and a K-1 kickboxing tournament champ.
He quickly demolished Brock Lesnar in his UFC debut at UFC 141 but from there it's been nothing but bad news for the man they call the Reem. First he failed a surprise urine test and a planned UFC title shot against then-champ Junior dos Santos at UFC 146 was off.
Overeem served out his suspension and returned at UFC 156 in February. He was expected to demolish Antonio Silva but instead Silva KO'd him in the third round. Then last night he lost again, this time to Travis Browne. After utterly dominating Browne for the majority of the one round fight, Overeem lumbered into a front kick that dropped him and Browne finished him quickly with some savage ground and pound.
After the event UFC president Dana White wouldn't say if Overeem will be cut by the organization or not. Given his very high reported salary -- almost $300,000 for losing to Bigfoot at UFC 156 -- don't be surprised if the UFC cuts him following his loss to Browne.
At the very least expect him to take a significant pay cut.
The UFC has very little use for overpaid fighters, especially ones who made their reputation outside the UFC. It fits perfectly in their narrative of letting the best challenge the best. If Overeem is cut, even if he signs with Bellator and demolishes everyone in his path, the UFC will be able to say "that's great, but he's shown he can't hang in the big leagues."
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