Former UFC Titleholder Will Meet Alistair Overeem on December 30th
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar (5-2) will make his anticipated return to the Octagon on December 30th at UFC 141, facing former Strikeforce Heavyweight Titleholder Alistair Overeem. The fight is the first for Lesnar since losing the belt to Cain Velasquez in October of 2010, as the Minnesota native has been sidelined after undergoing a second bout with diverticulitis earlier this year.
“Brock Lesnar is 110 percent healthy and ready to get the world title back,” UFC President Dana White confirmed. “He asked for the toughest test we could find for him, and there’s no doubt that Alistair Overeem fits the bill. He’s been a champion in other organizations and came to UFC to fight the best guys in the world. He wants to show everyone that he’s the number one heavyweight in the sport. This fight is the perfect fight to close out 2011.”
One of the most recognizable figures in mixed martial arts by the general public, Lesnar is a former World Wrestling Entertainment performer who turned to MMA in 2007. After a first round stoppage win over Min-Soo Kim under the K1 banner in his pro debut, he was then signed by the UFC the following year. After being submitted by Frank Mir his first outing for the promotion, Lesnar rebounded with a unanimous decision win over Heath Herring and earned a title shot against the legendary Randy Couture, scoring a first round TKO due to punches and winning the heavyweight belt. He then avenged his previous loss to Mir and successfully defended his title for a second time by tapping out Shane Carwin. His third match as champion would not go so well, with Velasquez pounding out a first round TKO over the stunned Lesnar.
“I'm not in this just to be a contender,” Lesnar said of the fight, which will secure top contender status for the winner. “I'm in it to be the champion. To get my belt back, it's real simple. Beat Overeem and beat whoever walks out with the title on November 12. And that's exactly what I'll do.”
Overeem has been a very accomplished professional fighter in his 12-year career, compiling a 35-11-1 record in MMA and registering a 14-4 tab in kickboxing. The Dutch native has enjoyed a lot of success under a variety of banners in the sport, including Pride, Dream and Strikeforce while holding champion status in each of the latter two promotions. The bout against Lesnar is his first inside the Octagon, and he comes into the UFC riding a streak of 11 consecutive fights without a loss. The run encompasses over four years.
“This fight is going to be the most important fight of my career,” Overeem remarked. “I have one important mission left in my career, and that is to get the UFC gold around my waist. The winner of this fight gets a title shot, so beating Brock brings me one step closer to having the UFC belt. Our fight on December 30 will be bigger than Godzilla versus King Kong!”
Also confirmed for this card is a lightweight encounter between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Nate Diaz, which will give a significant boost to the victor in his quest for a title shot.