Veteran heavyweight star Alistair Overeem made his case for a shot at the world title in his home country of the Netherlands Sunday, knocking out teammate and fellow top five contender Andrei Arlovski in the second round at the Rotterdam Ahoy.
“We’re gonna get that belt in November, November 12 at Madison Square Garden. Werdum-Stipe, may the best man win, but I’m gonna take on the winner, I’m gonna beat that winner, and then next year, we’re going to be defending the belt in Amsterdam Arena,” Overeem said, referring to next week’s UFC 198 main event between champion Fabricio Werdum and challenger Stipe Miocic.
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A former UFC heavyweight champion, Belarus’ Arlovski wasted no time getting into the fight, pressuring Amsterdam’s Overeem to the fence and firing off a flurry that “The Reem” defended well. A clinch followed moments later, Arlovski still pushing the pace. After breaking, Overeem was able to score with a knee at close range and with a kick to the body, but was one and done with both strikes. With a little over a minute left in the opening stanza, Overeem tripped Arlovski to the canvas and kept him there to the horn, landing some hard punches in the process.
The striking exchanges began heating up in round two, but just as that was happening, Overeem put a stop to the fight, with a left kick to the head stunning Arlovski and a left hook putting him on the deck. “The Pit Bull” covered up, but after a series of follow-up shots from Overeem, referee Marc Goddard stepped in and stopped the fight at the 1:12 mark of the second round.
With the win, Overeem, ranked third at heavyweight, ups his record to 41-14 with 1 NC. Arlovski, ranked fifth, falls to 25-12 with 1 NC.