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UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Harris Preview

Overeem vs Harris

Walt Harris is back after suffering a family tragedy that too many others have experienced. Understandably, he was in a poor mental space to prepare for competition. We still wish him well, as well as his wife and loved ones. Hopefully, they are starting to become more and more like their usual selves. How Harris will perform against Overeem remains to be seen, but heartbreak often leads to our greatest triumphs.  

Harris’ Underwhelming UFC Career

Harris is on a nice winning streak dating back to 2018. Since his UFC debut, he has been a bit of a journeyman. He has no notable wins so far, but he still has time, as heavyweights tend to fight at a high level closer to 40 years old. A victory in his next bout would be a great start. When fighting Overeem, most fighters are better off winning however they can. Harris grinding out a decision would be nothing to be ashamed of considering his record.  

So far, Walt Harris has demonstrated that he will either win by knockout or lose in the UFC. Surely, he is capable of decision victories, but he has not shown that. While records in MMA are not nearly as indicative of talent as in boxing, Harris’ record is poor. There is something to be said though about being a veteran in the UFC. It is hard to stay in this league, but 13-7 is nothing to write home about unless a fighter is in the middle of a major win streak. One thing that’s not average relative to this division is his boxing form. He keeps his elbows in nice and tight when throwing combos and rarely squares his feet when punching. All of the punches are quick and there is little to no reaching. 

A Key to Victory

Finishing Overeem will be impressive and convince more people of his potential than ever before. An underrated part of Harris’ game is his instinct to grab for the clinch and/or throw flying knees when his opponents cover up during his flurries. Overeem has been ducking his head into his arms lately and eating punches more and more lately. Why he started doing that is unclear, but Harris is the wrong guy to do it against.  

Overeem’s Array of Weapons

Ironically, striking with Alistair Overeem is a terrible idea for most fighters in the Heavyweight division. “Decorated” is a modest way to describe Overeem’s career in combat sports. If you have never seen K-1 kickboxing, do yourself a favor and check it out. You should start by watching Alistair Overeem vs Tyrone Spong. If you are too busy to educate yourself on just how dominant Overeem can be, here is a simple analogy. Alistair Overeem’s knees in the clinch are like Shaq dunking. You can try and stop it, but it’s going to cost you. He is overall one of the most technical strikers in the sport. 

Unfortunately, Overeem’s chin is what you would describe as inconsistent. It’s not easy to hurt Overeem’s chin, and it’s not that easy to hit him clean. But watching him lose over and over by knockout, I have come to this conclusion. He will either absorb clean punches and continue to move forward, or get knocked out by them. You don’t see too much in between. His recovery from heavy shots is poor. If you can rock him, you will finish him, but that’s not as easy as many have made it seem.  

He has been KO’d a lot over the years and started to grapple more. This is probably to maintain his longevity in the sport. Walt Harris may be thinking that grappling Overeem is a good idea, but that might make Harris’ chances of winning more unlikely. Alistair Overeem is an underrated grappler that knows when and how to initiate it. Though he has not submitted anyone in a while, it will not be surprising to watch him drag Harris to the ground and tap him faster than a keg at a high school party.  


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