In the makeshift co-main event of UFC 213, Alistair Overeem won the trilogy matchup vs. Fabricio Werdum by majority decision, although he had to survive a third-round knockdown in order to see the fight all the way to the end.
Werdum started the fight with a flying knee like it was Koji Oishi vs. B.J. Penn. Luckily for him, his miss didn’t lead to an immediate KO loss. A head kick by Overeem partially landed for Werdum, then he evaded a head kick by Werdum. Overeem was patient and taking his time, but the crowd was impatient. Alistair caught Werdum with a right and then he flopped to his back, hoping Overeem would follow him there. No dice, of course. Another right hand scored for Overeem. A short left hook found its target for Werdum, who was throwing body kicks. Overeem stuffed a Werdum takedown and then got in a 1-2 combination. Werdum tried some rolling thunder because ... reasons, and Overeem wasn’t having any of that.
Werdum tried a flying attack again straight off the bat in round 2. Overeem smashed Werdum’s midsection with a body kick, then Werdum tied him up and pulled guard. Alistair had a little bit of top control time but not much offense, and he stood back up. Another body kick connected for Overeem. A patented uber-knee by Overeem led to Werdum pulling guard again. Overeem threw a left hook and then a jumping kick that staggered Werdum. A right hand got through for the former UFC champ, then Overeem blasted him with a straight right. Werdum retaliated with two jabs. Overeem tagged the Brazilian with another sharp left, and evaded the wheel kick in the closing seconds of the middle frame.
Werdum got busy in round 3 and was looking for some major shots in the clinch, but maybe got one knee to land cleanly. He was certainly more active than Overeem in the first two minutes of this round. A knee dropped Overeem and he was hurt badly. Werdum went for a guillotine and then an armbar but Overeem escaped both. He got back to his feet but was still on wobbly legs. Fabricio sensed the finish, smacked him with a right hand, and took Overeem down with ease. Werdum threw short hammerfists in Overeem’s guard. Alistair did well to deny Werdum the space need to posture up and landing more damaging, possibly fight-ending shots. Werdum essentially remained in guard for the remainder of the bout, and Overeem managed not to get knocked out.
Official result: Alistair Overeem def. Fabricio Werdum by majority decision (28-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Overeem takes the series with Werdum 2-1 and gets his second win in a row after getting knocked out by current champion Stipe Miocic. Werdum has now lost two of his last three, including relinquishing his belt to Miocic last year.