Alistair Overeem clearly does most of the heavy lifting during the first two rounds of last night’s K-1 2010 World Grand Prix tournament final. After edging Tyrone Sprong via close(ish) decision in the quarterfinals and surviving a game but overmatched Gokhan Saki in the semis, the outcome is basically in the books for The Reem against 40-year-old Peter Aerts in the championship. As you can see in the above vid, Overeem is so sure he has Aerts down and out with a flurry early in the first round that he’s already standing on the ropes preparing to celebrate as the referee is issuing the count.
People who actually know stuff about K-1 contend Overeem was the odds-on favorite to win the GP anyway – and indeed he looks like the smart choice in each of these three fights – but it’s still pretty damn impressive to see the erstwhile MMA fighter stalking down and roughing up these professional punch-fighters at what we’re led to believe is the highest level. When it’s all said and done, surprisingly quiet color commentator “King Mo” Lawal even proclaims Overeem “the combat sports athlete of the year, hands down.” Kind of hard to argue with that, after this display.
Overeem’s back-and-forth slugfest with Sprong and his bout with Golden Golory teammate Saki – which Michael Schiavello dubs “Kebabs vs. Horse Meat” – are obviously the better fights. Sprong appears to have Overeem’s number early (and we can’t help but notice that The Reem is kind of allowed to cheat his ass off in that one), while Saki comes out and tries to do some video game shit during their entertaining scrap. It almost works. Those vids are after the jump.
“Look at the size of the trapezius on Alistair Overeem,” exclaims an oddly palatable Michael Schiavello during the Saki fight. And he’s right. Overeem looks freaking gigantic here. Almost unnaturally so.
(Next two vids propers: YouTube/Para24karaat)
In the semis, Saki looks to be giving The Reem all he can handle until Alistair lands a body kick at the 1:25 mark and it almost crumples him. The announcers note that Saki may have been injured in his earlier fight with Daniel Ghita. He sure fights like it after that shot, seeming to wince a bit when he falls to the canvas following his second spinning hook kick attempt. About a minute later Overeem lands another body kick that stumbles Saki, who tells the ref to call it off. We even get a Joe-Rogan-style on-the-spot medical diagnosis of a broken arm from the broadcast team.
In the quarterfinals against Sprong, Overeem is warned twice for kneeing his opponent from a two-handed clinch, illegal under K-1’s weirdo rules. Immediately after the first restart for this infraction, the much smaller Sprong puts Overeem on blast with a barrage of punches that seem to have the Strikeforce champ a bit rattled. He weathers it and inside the final 10 seconds of the first round lands another pretty dubious looking knee that has the ref making a face like, “Yeah, that was probably illegal, but I’m not going to call it.”
Some great slo-mo punch-faces from the K-1 broadcast between rounds of this fight, by the way.
Overeem loses the first round but comes back to take the second and third, almost finishing Sprong late. He also keeps right on going with those two-handed knees, continuing to elicit a not-mad-just-disappointed-look from the man in charge. Seriously, the ref keeps pointing at Overeem like, “Damn, I should do something about this.” But he doesn’t. And Overeem is your new K-1 World Grand Prix champion, kids.
Now maybe we can get him back to something a little more relevant.