Alistair Overeem defeated Walt Harris in the main event of the UFC on ESPN 8 held in Jacksonville. The Demolition Man would come back following a slow start, and force the judge in the ring to stop the bout due to his relentless attacking of the opponent.
With this victory, he somewhat erased the loss against Jairzinho Rozenstruik in December last year, once he had the lead all over the scoreboards, but suffered a KO with four seconds to go.
Yet, he had to go a lot of troubles tonight and was close to being defeated again. Harris came after him in the opening frame, sending the veteran Dutchman to the canvas and unleashing a fury of punches, which damaged Overeem pretty badly.
— JAZZ Sportsbook (Official) (@SportsbookJazz) May 17, 2020
However, one of the greatest ever MMA fighters survived and made a counter-attack, which placed Harris in a bad position now. It seems that the bell saved the American who was pressed on the ground and the fence, and didn’t have anywhere to run.
The second round started more cautiously, and there weren’t too many attacks up to the point where Overeem sent a right head kicks and a left punch immediately afterward. In those moments, Harris became an easy target for the Dutch as he fell to the ground. The Demolition Man jumped on him and routinely executed, with the judge stepping in at 3:00 of the second frame.
Quickly following the fight, Overeem celebrated his 40th birthday. He was undergoing medical tests when the clock showed midnight, and there was a modest celebration in the backstage of the Vystar Memorial Arena in Jacksonville.
According to the winner, even though he is entering the fifth decade of his life, he is still feeling ok, and ready for the toughest possible challenges.
“Somehow, I keep finding the focus. I love it,” Overeem said. “Let’s look at the rankings, fight again later this year and maybe see if there’s one more shot at the title.”
With this victory, he became the second fighter in the history of the UFC to win battles in four different decades. He also posted 41st finish in his 46 wins,
As for Harris, he’s been experiencing problems in the recent past few months. You all know that this matchup should have happened in December last year, but the American had to back out due to his stepdaughter’s tragic death.
Ref finally steps in, respect to Harris, can’t imagine how the last number of months have been. Overeem very classy, too, excellent recovery and comeback. Showed his experience 🙏🏻 #UFCFL
— Niall McGrath (@niallmcgrath4) May 17, 2020
Even though he lost this one, Harris took the sympathy of the fans and the colleagues and is determined to continue to battle and chase victories inside the octagon.
“I want to say thank you first and foremost to he UFC,” Harris said. “They’ve been amazing through the whole process. My wife and my family is so grateful. We owe you guys everything … I’m so grateful to you guys.”
Overeem told Harris immediately after the stoppage that them two should work together and “make one another better.”
Harris will now have to dig deep again, and post a few wins before thinking about the chance to fight for the title. Although he had four triumphs in a row, this defeat spoiled that streak.
After this fight, the No.8 in the rankings Overeem might receive an invitation to participate in a title-eliminator. Right now, Stipe Miocic has Francis Ngannou as the next opponent, as the Predator smashed Rozenstruik last week.
Overeem needs the UFC belt to complete his stellar career, and crown himself as arguably the best MMA fighter ever.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.