In the main event of UFC Fight Night 87, Alistair Overeem finished Andrei Arlovski in the second round of their heavyweight affair. In the fight, Overeem landed 76 percent of his significant strikes. The Dutch fighter currently holds the UFC record for sig strike accuracy as he has landed at a 74.7 percent clip in the Octagon. The number is pretty astounding when you consider the second best rate is 63.7 percent and held by Trevor Smith who is much more of a grappling oriented fighter.
In fact, during his nine-fight UFC career, Overeem has been more accurate than his opponent in all of his fights.
Alistair Overeem Sig Strike Accuracy (UFC Bouts)
Clearly there is a strategy in play that results in this level of accuracy. Naturally only Overeem and his team know exactly what that strategy is, but it likely has something to do with the fighter’s lack of immortality.
In all three of his UFC defeats, Overeem has been winning the striking battle before coming under heavy fire and falling via knockout. In his UFC career, he has suffered a knockout for every 28 sig strikes absorbed to the head.
One of the easiest ways to get knocked out in MMA is to open yourself up for counters. This is one of the reasons that fighters throw fewer range-finding jabs and setup strikes. A missed or blocked punch creates an invaluable chance to land hard strikes. For example, in the video below, Jackson Wink striking coach Brandon Gibson explains a few simple counters.
By focusing on his accuracy, Overeem denies opponents the opportunity to land heavy counters. Arlovski, most likely realizing this, tried to close the distance early and land with a blitz of punches. However, Overeem defense was up to the challenge. From there it was just a matter of time.
Stefan Struve enters the 2016 top-ten
Struve’s 16-second destruction of Antonio Silva was good enough to earn him a place in the 2016 Most Efficient Striking Performance rankings, but it was not good enough to supplant Alejandro Perez’s high score.
|1||Alejandro Perez||Ian Entwistle||UFC Fight Night 86||4/10/2016||11800|
|2||Marcos Rogerio de Lima||Clint Hester||UFC 197||4/23/2016||9800|
|3||Anthony Johnson||Ryan Bader||UFC on Fox 18||1/30/2016||9500|
|3||Chris Camozzi||Joe Riggs||UFC Fight Night 83||2/21/2016||9500|
|5||Stefan Struve||Antonio Silva||UFC FN 87||5/8/2016||9400|
|6||Derek Brunson||Roan Carneiro||UFC Fight Night 83||2/21/2016||6800|
|7||Damian Stasiak||Filip Pejic||UFC Fight Night 86||4/10/2016||6700|
|8||Teemu Packalen||Thibault Gouti||UFC Fight Night 84||2/27/2016||5900|
|9||Oluwale Bamgbose||Daniel Sarafian||UFC Fight Night 83||2/21/2016||4800|
|10||Sheldon Westcott||Edgar Garcia||UFC 195||1/2/2016||3424|
Kowalkiewicz takes over
After a close round one, Karolina Kowalkiewicz put it together against Heather Jo Clark. It might not have been the most impressive performance, but the Polish fighter might end up being one of the next challenger’s to the strawweight title.
Kowalkiewicz vs. Clark StrikeScore by Round
Waters striking differential
After his third-straight defeat, Dominic Waters will most likely receive his release from the UFC. Despite some impressive wrestling and throws, he only landed three sig strikes. That means in three UFC bouts has has landed a total of 16 sig strikes on only 69 attempts. He will need to go back to the drawing board and improve his striking game.
Waters vs. Opponents (Sig Strikes Landed)
Prospect passes test
Angela Lee defeated Mei Yamaguchi in the main event of One Championship 42 to claim the promotion’s inaugural atomweight championship. Heading into the event, it seemed as if the result of the bout was a foregone conclusion. However, Yamaguchi came to fight, it turned out to be one of the best contests of the year. In her first five professional fights Lee had fought for a total of 22 minutes and 30 seconds. Against Yamaguchi, she fought the full 25 minutes and pulled out the win.
Angela Hill’s surge continues
After being released by the UFC, Hill has gone 3-0 under the Invicta FC banner. This past Saturday, she scored a split-decision victory over Livia Renata Souza to claim the promotion’s strawweight championship. With the victory, Hill jumped up 22 spots in the Fight Matrix rankings which puts her ahead of all UFC strawweights not named Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha.