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Overeem beats Werdum at Strikeforce, but fails to impress

Steve Cofield

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Alistair Overeem looked to send a strong message in Saturday night's Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinals. Instead, he created plenty of questions about his much larger physique and his stamina. Overeem took a sloppy fight via unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28, in the main event at Strikeforce's Dallas event.

Overeem, a huge tourney favorite, suddenly looks beatable. All three of the remaining fighters in the field are capable of taking out Overeem (35-11, one no-contest).

In the semifinals, the 256-pounder will face the massive Antonio "Big Foot" Silva. On the other side of the bracket, is a big puncher in Sergei Kharitonov and a great ground fighter, Josh Barnett.

Overeem has added 40 pounds to his frame over the last five years, but now it appears he may have gone too far. His gas tank was a real issue and his hand speed was unimpressive.

"As you know, Fabricio is one of the best grapplers in the world, so we didn't want to play with him on the ground," said Overeem, who indicated nothing Werdum landed really hurt him. "He just felt a little bit unpredictable in the standup."

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For 15 minutes, Werdum (14-5-1) tried to get the fight to the ground where he could show off his excellent submission skills, but he never got Overeem into a dangerous spot.{ysp:more}

The Brazilian worked hard throughout the opening round but was consistently thrown away by the powerful Overeem. In the second and third, both fighters were extremely tired. By pulling guard, Werdum actually got into some decent positions on his back with Overeem in his guard, but he was too tired to execute a submission. Overeem was also exhausted and often times just laid close to Werdum's body.

On the feet, Overeem landed harder, single shots. Werdum landed some decent combinations. CompuStrike actually had Werdum outlanding Overeem 69-48, but few of his shots did real damage.

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