The UFC lost a top contender in the heavyweight division over the weekend when Alistair Overeem suffered his first loss in more than five years, falling to the stand-up of Antonio Silva at UFC 156. Though Overeem was a favorite entering the fight, he was also a man who’d spent more than a year on the sidelines with most of the time stemming from illegal testosterone use.
The Overeem who showed up against Silva lacked much of the firepower (and physique) fans had come to associate with the heavy-handed Dutchman, leaving room for legendary striker Mirko Filipovic to say what many were already thinking in relation to the timing of things.
“I wasn’t surprised by Silva’s victory at all and I had believed he would win. I don’t want to come off as a smart-ass or say I knew it all along, so I’ll explain why I’d believed so. First, Silva is a big tough guy with a huge heart who had demolished Fedor and he needs no better reference than that, and Alistair hugely underestimated him and belittled him with his arrogant statements, so this mobilized Silva in the best possible way,” explained Filipovic to Croatian outlet Fight Site. “Second, Silva is a natural heavyweight, and Alistair – for the first time since way back in 2007, when he began to gain huge weight – fought without the drugs he had used constantly for years, including testosterone and all the other s— that goes with it.”
“Watching the weigh-in, I saw that his muscles mass was nowhere near his usual, he had the weight, but he wasn’t nearly as carved out and defined, since he couldn’t take anything because he was watched by the Athletic Commission,” the PRIDE/K-1 icon continued. “This also reflects on the psyche of a man who’s been using stuff to increase his strength, endurance, pain tolerance and aggressiveness for years, and now there was none of that. Alistair is an excellent fighter, but he still owes that excellence to something that’s dirty and unpermitted, and, in the end, very dangerous to health.”
Overeem has been linked to PED use for years after bulking up but had never been popped until last year in the months leading up to a shot at then-champion Junior dos Santos. “Cro Cop” crossed paths with Overeem back in 2008 under the DREAM banner with the effort ending prematurely due to a series of knees to Filipovic’s groin.
PHOTO CREDIT – FEG/UFC