UFC 156 fight card primer: Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents their UFC 156 fight card primer, previewing all the action at the UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar PPV. Here, we look at a Heavyweight clash: Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva.

One of the featured fights at UFC 156 is a big Heavyweight clash. Former Strikeforce Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (36-11(1) MMA; 1-0 UFC) takes on Antonio Silva (17-4 MMA; 1-1 UFC). This is the third of five PPV main card fights. UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday night, February 2, with the PPV main card beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET / 7:00 p.m. PT.

The big draw here is definitely the return of Overeem. A win for the former Strikeforce champion would likely make him next in line for Cain Velasquez and the UFC Heavyweight title. For his part, Bigfoot Silva will look to once again play spoiler, just as he did when he defeated Fedor Emelianenko in the Strikeforce Grand Prix. Speaking of that tournament, this is a redo at the scheduled semifinal from Strikeforce. After their wins, these two were set to meet in the semifinal round, but a weird contract issue caused Overeem to be replaced by Daniel Cormier, allowing Cormier to win the GP. So for you Strikeforce diehards out there, this one represents unfinished business.

How do these two stack up?

Overeem: 32 years old | 6'5" | 80" reach
Silva: 33 years old | 6'4" | 82" reach

What have these two done recently?

Overeem: W - Brock Lesnar (TKO) | W - Fabricio Werdum (UD) | W - Todd Duffee (KO)
Silva: W - Travis Browne (KO) | L - Cain Velasquez (TKO) | L - Daniel Cormier (KO)

How did these two get here?

The Reem, Alistair Overeem, has been around the MMA game for a long time, first making his name during his Demolition Man days in Pride. But it was his 2007 move up to Heavyweight and subsequent KO heavy runs through K-1, Dream, and Strikeforce that made him a big star. It also made him a lighting rod of controversy, as many questioned his massive build. Reem made his UFC debut in 2011, easily defeating Brock Lesnar to set up a Reem vs. Junior dos Santos title fight, but a subsequent drug test failure derailed those plans and seemed to vindicate those who questioned him. This is his first fight back since the failure, and while the UFC is highly unlikely to mention that incident on Saturday, it hangs heavy over this fight.

More on UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar

Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva first really made his name in EliteXC, where he was the Heavyweight champion. When they folded, he went to Strikeforce. He started his career on a very strong 16-2 run that included his massive win over Fedor. But after that win, he lost back to back fights, both by KO, including his UFC debut where he was simply mauled by Velasquez. He's since bounced back with a win over Travis Browne. Bigfoot is a good Heavyweight, but that Fedor win seems to have dropped him into deeper waters than he is prepared for.

Why should you care?

This is built for a big Reem smash finish. And those finishes are awesome.

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