Last night, at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen, Alistair Overeem found himself on the receiving end of a Travis Browne front kick. The end result was another Overeem KO loss, his second in a row inside the Octagon. With that loss, Alistair Overeem, the man brought in to be a dominant force in the UFC Heavyweight division, is now just 1-2 in the UFC, with that lone win coming against a clearly shot and ready to retire Brock Lesnar.
It's official: Alistair Overeem in the UFC is a bust.
Unfortunately for The Reem, these poor showings don't simply impact his UFC legacy - they are the kind of fights that call into question his entire Heavyweight run. Prior to coming to the UFC, Overeem was one of the top Heavyweights in the world, crushing opponents in Strikeforce, Dream, and K-1 and building up a huge following. So what happened? How did this KO machine suddenly find himself a UFC washout?
There are many possible answers - maybe his quality of opposition in those other organizations wasn't good, maybe his move away from Golden Glory really hurt him, maybe his use of larger gloves in K-1 negatively impacted his defenses, maybe after close to 14 years as a pro he's just done. The truth is we can all speculate, but no one except Alistair Overeem will ever really know the answer - and even he may not know it himself. But in trying to find that answer, there's one piece of his UFC career that has to be mentioned, and it's not one that took place inside the cage.
After his win over Lesnar, Overeem failed a drug test, exhibiting an extremely high level of testosterone. With his recently acquired Superman physique, Overeem had long been accused of steroid use, and this drug test was seen as vindication by many of his accusers. Since that failed test and the subsequent year long suspension, Overeem is 0-2, with 2 bad KO losses.
When you put all the pieces together - the failed drug test, the two losses, the series of wins in unregulated Japan - any rational viewer is forced to ask the obvious question: just how much did PED use contribute to Overeem's meteoric rise?
Again, that's a question we'll never get answered. But the sad truth is, the court of public opinion doesn't need an definitive answer.
The failed drug test forever tainted Overeem's Heavyweight run. The losses to Bigfoot and Browne may have forever disqualified the legitimacy of that entire run, causing many to view his HW career as nothing more than the run of a man using illegal means to get ahead.
Can Alistair Overeem come back from this? Sure. He can turn things around a la Mark Hunt, win a series of fights in the UFC, maybe even win the UFC Heavyweight title. If he does, that will be the legacy he leaves behind him. But if not, his final legacy will be that of a man whose greatest accomplishments came under dubious conditions, and whose chance at glory crashed and burned in front of him. It's not a pretty way to go out, but for Overeem, there may be no other option.
More from Bloody Elbow:
- UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen results - Time waits for no one
- UFC Fight Night 26 results: Will the UFC cut Alistair Overeem?
- UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen results - Dana White unhappy with Chael Sonnen media ranking
- Alistair Overeem vs. Travis Browne Fight Video: Watch the front kick KO at UFC Fight Night 26
- UFC Fight Night 26 Results: Winners vs. Losers