It wasn’t the highlight reel ending that became customary during his halcyon days, but Alistair Overeem will take it.
The former Strikeforce champion is back on the win side of the ledger after beating up Frank Mir for three rounds, earning a unanimous decision on the UFC 169 main card. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Overeem, who outlanded Mir by the lopsided total of 139-5 according to FightMetric.
Overeem nearly finished Mir in the first. A left hook put Mir on wobbly legs and a knee to the face followed by a left hook put Mir down. Overeem swarmed from the top, pounding Mir with punches and elbows that had ref Dan Miragliotta watching closely, but Mir managed to cover up, withstand the barrage and get back to his feet.
“Frank is a very tough, experienced fighter,” Overeem said afterward. “I’ve seen him trick opponents by faking to be dazed and then he pulls out the surprise.”
Overeem said he played it with extra caution out of the feeling he needed a win.
Mir had his best opportunity early in the second when he shot in and successfully took Overeem to the ground. Mir pulled guard with a guillotine, sending a sudden jolt through the crowd but Overeem soon powered free and spent most of the rest of the round battering Mir from the top. An elbow with about one minute left cut the left side of Mir’s face.
The third was more of the same, as Overeem opened up cuts all over Mir’s face with left hands from the top and power strikes from distance. By the end, MIr’s face looked reminiscent of the final moments of his second fight with Brock Lesnar.
Speaking of Lesnar, Overeem took advantage of his mic time to call out the former champ.
“I heard that Brock Lesnar wants to come back to the UFC,” said Overeem (37-13, 1 no contest). “Well I’ll be here, waiting for him.”
Mir’s UFC future is now in serious jeopardy, as the loss makes it four straight, dropping him to 16-9. Few fighters survive such streaks and remain employed. Mir has been with the UFC since November 2001.