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Alistair Overeem Is the Karate Kid, and Other Highlights From ‘Fight Night 87′

(via UFC on FOX)

We’ve seen many different versions of Alistair Overeem over the years — Skinnyreem (aka PRIDE-era Reem), Demolition Man Reem (aka K1-era Reem), and of course Ubereem (aka Arianny be mirin Reem), but thanks to a few humbling losses and a USADA-backed drug-testing program, we’ve seen a newer, arguably better Overeem emerge in recent years. One who relied less on overwhelming power and arrogance to carry him to victory and more on dynamic and patiently-implemented offense. A “Newbereem” if you will.

At Fight Night 89 on Sunday, Newbereem unveiled what may very well be his final form — a trimmed-down, 248-pound version of the goliath we once knew with a positively Super Saiyan-esque haircut — and the results were nothing short of spectacular. Facing off against Jackson-Wink teammate and former Heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, Overeem looked calm under pressure, fierce when on the offensive, and finished the fight with arguably the most impressive sequence of his UFC career. He frickin’ crane kicked Arlovski in the face is what he did, then followed it up with some hellacious ground and pound to put away the “Pit Bull” in what may very well end up being a performance that earns him a title shot.

Ubereem is dead. All hail Newbereem.

More highlights/results from Fight Night 87 after the jump.

In Fight Night 87′s co-main event, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva also debuted his newest form — let’s call him “Hipsterfoot” — but aside from a new haircut, there was sadly nothing new about him. Against the 7 foot Stefan Struve, Silva was rocked, dropped, and finished off with a series of elbows from the clinch in less than 15 seconds, bringing his momentous 1-fight winning streak to a grinding halt in the process. Bigfoot may still have the heart to be a professional fighter, but like Chuck Liddell before him, it simply seems that he no longer has the chin for it. His loss to Struve now bring his record to 1-5-1 in his past 7 fights, with *all* of those losses coming by way of TKO. Honestly, it’s a wonder how the guy makes it through a training camp in one piece.

In perhaps the most surprising performance of the evening, Gunnar Nelson managed to both outhustle Albert Tumenov on the feet and dominate him on the mat en route to a second round submission.

A 2-to-1 underdog coming into the fight, many predicted that Nelson wouldn’t be able to take the fight to the mat and would suffer the consequences of Tumenov’s ridiculous striking pedigree as a result, but as he did against Brandon Thatch, Nelson proved to be quite the dynamic striker himself. He got hands on Tumenov early and often, then proceeded to take the previously untested (on the mat at least) prospect down at will, breaking his spirit and eventually securing a fight-ending neck crank. It was arguably the biggest win of Nelson’s career to date, and somewhat ironically, served as a testament to just how good a grappler Demian Maia is.

The full results for Fight Night 87 are below.

Main card
Alistair Overeem def. Andrei Arlovski via TKO (crane kick and punches) at 1:12 of R2
Stefan Struve def. Antonio Silva via TKO (strikes) at :16 of R1
Gunnar Nelson def. Albert Tumenov via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:15 of R2
Germaine de Randamie def. Anna Elmose via TKO (knees) at 3:46 of R1
Nikita Krylov def. Francimar Barroso via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:11 of R2
Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Heather Jo Clark via unanimous decision

Rustam Khabilov def. Chris Wade via unanimous decision
Magnus Cedenblad def. Garreth McLellan via TKO (head kick and punches) at 0:47 of round two
Josh Emmett def. Jon Tuck via split decision
Reza Madadi def. Yan Cabral via third-round TKO (1:56)
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Neil Seery via unanimous decision
Leon Edwards def. Dominic Waters via unanimous decision
Ulka Sasaki def. Willie Gates via submission (rear-naked choke) (R2, 3:30)

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