UFC: Lesnar getting back in octagon
By LOU BABIARZ Tribune Sports Editor BismarckTribune.com | Posted: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 10:30 pm | (0) Comments
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Overcoming a second bout of diverticulitis won't be Brock Lesnar's only big challenge when he makes his UFC comeback.
Lesnar's return bout will be Dec. 30 against Alistair Overeem, a champion not only in Strikeforce - a rival mixed martial arts organization now owned by UFC - but also in kickboxing's K-1 World Grand Prix.
The former Bismarck State College grappler lost his UFC heavyweight championship to Cain Velasquez on Oct. 23, 2010. Lesnar then was scheduled to take on Junior dos Santos, but had to pull out of the fight to have a portion of his colon removed.
The 34-year-old Lesnar - who won championships in the NJCAA, NCAA Division I and WWE as well as the UFC - has a 5-2 record in MMA.
Like Lesnar, the 31-year-old Overeem is an imposing specimen at 6-foot-5 and 256 pounds. Unlike Lesnar, whose strength is obviously his wrestling, Overeem is regarded as one of the sport's top strikers.
Despite never fighting in UFC, Overeem has plenty of experience against top-flight competition, with a 35-11 record, including 14 knockouts and 19 submissions.
Overeem has scored wins over Vitor Belfort, Brett Rogers, Gary Goodridge and Mark Hunt. He has lost twice each to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, both former UFC champs. He also was defeated by Chuck Liddell.
Overeem's last fight was June 18, when he scored a unanimous decision over Fabricio Werdum, avenging an earlier defeat. Overeem has won 10 of his last 11 fights, with the other being a no-contest against Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.
The winner of the Lesnar-Overeem bout is expected to get a title shot with the winner of the Velasquez-dos Santos bout, scheduled for Nov. 12.
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