It didn't take even a full five minute round for Alistair Overeem to overwhelm Brock Lesnar at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem. He shrugged off the former NCAA national wrestling champ's take down attempts like they were nothing and brutalized Lesnar's body with knees and kicks. It was a left leg to the liver that sent Lesnar to the canvas groaning and clutching his gut, but a long series of knees softened up Lesnar's belly and ribs first. Alistair "Demolition Man" Overeem is now the man who retired Brock Lesnar.
Up next for Overeem is UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos. Dos Santos took the title from Cain Velasquez at UFC on Fox 1 with a quick first round KO. Overeem's win sets up a match between dos Santos, the heavyweight division's best boxer and Overeem, it's most mauling Muay Thai clinch fighter.
Dos Santos (14-1) is 8-0 since joining the UFC in 2008 with only two of those fights going the distance. Overeem (36-11-1) is 1-0 in the UFC and is 11-0 with 5 KO's and 5 submissions. Overeem, a former Strikeforce heavyweight champ as well as the last champion of K-1's kickboxing Grand Prix, is not likely to be over-awed by dos Santos' boxing skills. But the champ's conditioning will be a huge advantage if the fight goes into the deep water of the championship rounds.
Dos Santos vs. Overeem should command considerable fan interest, but there is no way it will match the business that would have been done by a dos Santos title defense against Brock Lesnar. That bout would likely have done more than 1 million PPV buys. With Overeem challenging for the title it should do more than 500,000 but is very unlikely to approach 1 million.
Another question that is not in doubt is that Overeem has considerably more box office potential in North America than the pleasant but dull dos Santos. Overeem has already shown signs of nascent mainstream fan interest and now that fans have seen him administer the most one-sided beating of Brock Lesnar's career, his profile will only rise.
Overeem is an incredibly impressive physical specimen with a knack for mauling opponents in a staggeringly violent manner. The air of controversy around him -- largely due to accusations of steroid use, despite Overeem never having failed a competition drug test or having been linked to PEDs -- should only increase the fans' intrigue with Overeem.