Technical Readout: Alistair Overeem and the UberKnee is meant to be watched in video form. Check it out on YouTube below!
I’ve you’ve ever been hit by an R-11 Scud missile then you might know what it’s like to be hit by the iconic Uberknee from Alistair Overeem. The Dutch kickboxing icon developed a reputation for his devastating knees that followed him all the way to the UFC. In today’s Technical Readout, we are looking at three examples of the Uberknee from Overeem as in his fights with Ewerton Teixeira, Kazuyuki Fujita, and Brock Lesnar.
The premise behind knees from the clinch is simple. First, you will need space between your knee and the opponent. Space will allow you to get maximum speed and torque on the knee. You bring the knee up at a 45 degree angle and land where you are targeting, be it the chin up the middle or the body. Alistair Overeem thrived on this. He was strong in the clinch and, with his reputation preceding him, struck fear in the hearts and minds of his opponents.
Alastair Overeem vs. Ewerton Teixeira
In 2009 K-1 was in it’s heyday. In the midst of it’s heavyweight Grand Prix, Ewerton Teixeira met with a young, jacked Alastair Overeem. It was the finals with everything on the line. Ultimately, it would be an easy night at the office for Overeem.
Early in the fight, we would see Teixeira showing his respect for Overeem’s clinch game using the long guard to hopefully keep The Reem at range.
But as Teixeira comes over with a right cross, Overeem grabs the plum and fires a knee that lands in the armpit of Teixeira. It’s evident early what Overeem wants to do.
Overeem is comfortable throwing the knee from the left or right side. Here, he switches stances to get maximum power in relation to what Teixeira gives him. Power from the knees require space and Overeem switching stances gives him that space to fire the missile in on Teixeira. If he wants the right side, Overeem will switch to orthodox. If he wants the left side, he goes southpaw. Overeem bings in the rear knee here off a stutter step in. The feint on the feet causes Teixeira to flinch just enough. Overeem grabs the clinch and knees to the body. After the first knee, you can see Teixeira lower his hands to block another one. That’s when Alistair Overeem throws a knee right up the middle, landing flush and putting Ewerton Teixeira out clean.
Alistair Overeem vs. Kazuyuki Fujita
The second example we are going over was the matchup at K-1 Dynamite a few months later in 2009. The announcers had mentioned the knockout of Teixeira and it would be a case of foreshadowing to come.
Fujita was already timid going into the fight. As soon as the bell rung, he was hesitant to even touch gloves with The Demolition Man and the two awkwardly circled trying to see if a glove touch was to happen.
Earlier in his career, Overeem was quite flat footed like a wound up coil ready to explode. Here, Overeem feints a knee to see how Fujita reacts. It’s over the top, but not really knowing what could be coming his way.
Overeem traps Fujita in the corner. Fujita tries to escape out the side and Overeem cuts him off. Overeem is orthodox and steps in to throw the lead knee. With his lead leg forward and Overeem having the clinch, he fires off another knee that’s blocked by Fujita.
Later on, Fujita mistimes the next knee coming his way. Overeem steps in to throw the lead knee again but Fujita dips to block premature. Overeem lands the lead knee flush on the dome of Fujita which he somehow shakes off.
Seconds later, the two are in the same position. Overeem looking for the knee and Fujita trying to survive. Overeem steps in and lands flush on Fujita’s head. This time he would not shake it off and would go down. Overeem comes in with the knee at a perfect 45 degree angle to put away his foe.
Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar
The biggest profile win of Overeem’s career is his defeat of Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. The fight comes almost exactly two years after his defeat of Fujita earlier in K-1. Lesnar had previously been gassed by Cain Velasquez losing his title then coming down with diverticulitis. He returned against Overeem looking to earn his way back to the title. But, Overeem had different plans.
In this fight, Overeem kept a wider stance from his previous fights to keep Brock away from both of his legs. Having 46 professional MMA fights by this point, Overeem knew the dangers of a wrestler and liked his chances on the single leg coming from Lesnar as opposed to the double. Lesnar shoots just that early in the fight off Overeem’s stance switch to which Overeem escapes.
The first knee coming Lesnar’s way looks a bit low. Alistair Overeem pushes Lesnar to the fence and goes for the clinch. Overeem steps in as he’s reaching for the clinch and fires his lead knee into Lesnar’s midsection or groin depending on who you ask. If you watch closely on the second knee, Overeem has the undertook on Lesnar which opens up the lane for the right knee. Overeem creates space for the knee by pushing forward and bringing his foot out before firing it right into Lesnar’s midsection.
After feeling the power of the knees, which are incredibly devastating, Lesnar is in survival mode any time Overeem clinches up. Here, Lesnar looks to sweep but he did not coral the kneeing leg of Overeem, allowing him to get his balance. If Lesnar get’s control of the leg, which is easier said than done when Overeem is firing rockets at you, he can sweep the posted leg of Overeem and end up on top where he has the advantage.
In the end, the amount of body damage sustained by Lesnar was too much. Overeem decides it doesn’t matter if Lesnar hits him and that he’s not intelligently fighting at this point. He eats a half thrown punch and fires a left knee to Lesnar’s midsection again. Lesnar is going for the legs but Overeem frames Lesnar’s head pushing him away. The next strike to the liver would be catastrophic. Instead of the knee, Overeem fires a rear kick from southpaw that lands in the perfect spot. Seconds later, Brock Lesnar crumbles over and with a little ground and pound, Overeem is pulled off winning the fight in incredible fashion.
Kickboxing or MMA, Alistar Overeem is an icon. His career has spanned over two decades and has produced some of the most electrifying finishes either sport has ever seen.