If you can forget for a moment that the Strikeforce heavyweight title is back on a lengthy hiatus while Alistair Overeem indulges himself by fighting in the K-1 World Grand Prix, then you have to admire his performance last night in the round of 16. Though Overeem’s opponent Ben Edwards came into their bout with what can only charitably be described as a “man on the street build,” we understand he’s something of a respected veteran in punch-and-kick circles, so that makes Overeem’s tidy first round destruction of him kind of impressive, I guess.
For those of you who can stomach the barbarism of two guys punching each other with those puffy weights taped over their fists, the video is after the jump. Seriously though, people, why can’t we all just wear open-fingered, four-ounce gloves like civilized human beings?
(Might want to watch this one on mute. Just saying. VidProps: YouTube/evilbyte)
Give “The Guvner” – great nickname for Edwards, by the way – credit for coming out guns blazing here. Edwards flails his way through a wild combo inside the fight’s first 10 seconds and finishes it with a pretty wicked low kick. Overeem walks right through it however, patiently stalking Edwards down. At the 1:48 mark (in the vid, not the round) he drops the Austalian for the first time with an overhand right and it seems to remind Edwards what a bad idea this was.
After that, he’s pretty much fighting on halfhearted auto-pilot. Overeem rips him with a hook, then a kick to the doughy body and another overhand right puts him down at 2:35 (again, in the vid). This is also the point in the fight where Michael Schiavello really starts screaming unintelligibly. “I told you he could take a beating!” he shrieks when Edwards hoists himself back to his feet. “I told you he could take a beating! I told you!” Sure. Because, like, what else would the play-by-play guy do? Play-by-play? Please.
Overeem thuds Edwards with another series of punches before he goes down for the final time. Then Overeem’s corner men race in and hoist him up at the center of the ring. He’s smirking, almost like he knows something we don’t … and cue the Disney music by the K-1 sound guy …
Honestly, it’s not a bad little fight, but at some point while Overeem is brutalizing Edwards you realize: This is what he’s doing instead of fighting Fedor. And then you start to think about the very real possibility that Alistair and Emelianenko are never going to fight. And then your mind clouds over with a kind of impotent rage and you think: Hey wait, this is bullshit! And then you start to feel like Nick Diaz. And then you realize it’s probably best to just think about something else. Something like Bolivian women’s professional wrestling.