Monday, January 23, 2012

Bas Rutten believes UFC Champ Junior dos Santos will defeat "glass jaw" Alistair Overeem

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Prior to UFC 141, Bas Rutten ripped into Alistair Overeem over the split with Golden Glory, and felt the distractions he was facing with that split - among other things - could potentially harm his performance against Brock Lesnar in his UFC debut. Of course, Overeem made quick work of the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, brutalizing him with knees to the body before dropping him with a kick to the liver.

Still, Rutten believes Overeem's toughest challenges still lie ahead, and in an interview with, he said he's not necessarily sure that Overeem will be able to handle them.

"I always told [Overeem's camps]... make sure to avoid Junior dos Santos," Rutten said. "I think him and Cain Velasquez, although with Cain, he cannot take a punch too great. But still, Cain is a monster and he should have simply shot in on Junior dos Santos, I think. I actually thought he was going to win that fight, but he didn't. He got tagged, and that can happen to anybody. Anyway, I always said try to stay away as long as you can from Junior dos Santos. That right now could be a very big threat together, believe it or not, with Cheick Kongo. I think that would also be a great opponent for him."

Dos Santos will be Overeem's next opponent, and Rutten believes that fight goes completely into the UFC Champ's favor based on each fighter's respective history.

"I think Alistair, everything he does is one single shot because he knows he's got that glass jaw as well," Rutten said. "He's been knocked out quite a few times in the past, even by Chuck Liddell as well. Every time when he punches, one hand is up. He throws single shots; he doesn't throw combinations. You saw that when he fought [Fabricio] Werdum. Werdum was actually tagging him more than he did to Werdum. I think that Junior dos Santos, with his combinations, his reach, I think he's going to tag him and he's going to throw combos and I think that yeah, he's going to take this fight."

Penick's Analysis: Looking at the Overeem-dos Santos matchup, it's hard to argue with Rutten's logic on that fight. He knows Overeem's former camp well, knows the Dutch fighting scene, and has known the type of fighter Overeem is for some time. Overeem is going to be a very big challenge for dos Santos, and he has a very good chance to put a beating on the Champ like no one has been able to, but his chin issues are well documented and real, and he's going to be going up against the fastest and hardest hitting fighter he's ever faced in the heavyweight division. It's going to be a fantastic UFC Heavyweight Title fight this spring/summer, but Rutten may very well be right about dos Santos' advantages in the bout.

[Alistair Overeem art by Grant Gould (c)]


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