Friday night marks the return of Brock Lesnar to mixed martial arts as the former Minnesota Golden Gophers wrestler is one half of the main event at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem. Overeem is Alistair Overeem, a Dutch kickboxer who figures to bring the fight to Alexandria's own according to a breakdown from SB Nation's Bloody Elbow.
Lesnar hasn't been in the cage since losing a heavyweight championship match to Cain Velasquez last October, but a win over Overeem would set him up with a match against current title holder Junior Dos Santos. Bloody Elbow's Dallas Winston thinks there's a possibility that might happen.
In this particular match up, Overeem's tactics will suit him well. Knowing Lesnar can't match him standing and will want to ground the fight, his stable and methodical approach will allow him to maintain his balance and keep his hands in an ideal position to defend takedowns. He's a mauler at close range with huge power in his knees and short punches and, while he can't contend with Lesnar's wrestling, his burly strength and stellar Thai clinch will be valuable in staying afoot.
Overeem is still capable on the ground and has a great guillotine, but I don't see anything saving him if Brock is able to contain him on the mat. He doesn't have the most active set of hips and Lesnar will not waste the opportunity to petrify him with unshakable control and inflict major damage.
I think the chances of Overeem wilting under the pressure of Brock's suffocating top-game are just as likely as Brock's when faced with Overeem's crushing stand up. Overeem's takedown is defense is decent but entirely unproven against someone of Lesnar's caliber, so his striking and ring generalship will be his first line of defense for takedown attempts.
It will certainly be interesting to see which fighter is able to employ his gameplan when the fights begin Friday night.