Here’s the video from the James Thompson / Alistair Overeem fight this morning at DREAM.12 (featuring DREAM’s white fishnet cage). The whole thing is 4:17 long including 2 minutes of intro videos, so you can pretty much figure out how this goes.
I know a lot of you are pissed off at Overeem for skipping over Strikeforce and America in lieu of super-can opponents around the world, but Midsy has a much more positive spin on his behavior:
Overeem is working hard at establishing himself as a world-class kickboxer, and he’s putting MMA on the back burner while he hones his kickboxing skills. That’s why Overeem’s two MMA fights over the last two weekends were squash matches in which he easily beat two overmatched opponents. Overeem just wants to treat MMA as a way to stay busy and make a little extra pocket money while he gets ready for the K-1 World Grand Prix 2009 Final in December.
And so when you see Overeem destroy James Thompson at Dream 12 and destroy Tony Sylvester at last week’s Ultimate Glory event, and you ask yourself why Overeem can’t fight better competition, just remember that Overeem doesn’t care much about MMA right now. He decided to make 2009 the year that he puts all his energy into kickboxing, and that’s what he’s focusing on.
I’m excited about seeing Overeem in the K-1 World Grand Prix Final, where he’ll be part of an eight-man heavyweight kickboxing tournament comprising the best heavyweight kickboxers in the world. I don’t think he’s going to win (I like Remy Bonjasky to beat Badr Hari in the final), but I think he has an outside chance, and I think it’s exciting that an MMA fighter is giving high-level kickboxing a try.
I’m excited about Alistair’s kickboxing ambitions too … for that sport, it doesn’t get more prestigious than winning K-1’s World Grand Prix and Overeem really does have a decent shot of pulling that off. Still, the whole can sideshow in MMA still peeves me off. The days where you can request easy prey and get away with it are long gone. Guys that fight cans no longer get built up into stars like Wanderlei Silva and Mirko Crocop any more. We see them for the bullies and shams that they are – because what’s there to like about a guy who accepts a bunch of fights against guys who are chosen specifically to lose?