Friday, November 11, 2011

Lesnar-Overeem official for Dec. 30

Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar’s mission to reclaim the title will resume on Dec. 30 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas when he meets one of the best strikers of all-time – international superstar Alistair Overeem.

“Brock Lesnar is 110 percent healthy and ready to get the world title back,” UFC president White said. “He asked for the toughest test we could find for him and there’s no doubt that Alistair Overeem fits the bill. He’s been a champion in other organizations and came to UFC to fight the best guys in the world. He wants to show everyone that he’s the number one heavyweight in the sport. This fight is the perfect fight to close out 2011.”

The night’s co-main event pits rising lightweight contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone against Nate Diaz in what could be one of the most dynamic 155-pound clashes in the sport’s history.

Lesnar (fighting out of Alexandria, Minn.) returns to the Octagon for the first time in over a year after a career-threatening bout with diverticulitis. Healthy, motivated and inspired to regain the heavyweight title that he held for nearly two years, the 34-year-old former NCAA Division I national wrestling champion wants nothing more than a dominant victory on Dec. 30.

“I'm not in this just to be a contender,” Lesnar, who owns a 5-2 professional record, said. “I'm in it to be the champion.  To get my belt back, it's real simple: beat Overeem and beat whoever walks out with the title on November 12. And, that's exactly what I'll do.”

Overeem (fighting out of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) has held world titles all over the globe, but he believes his resume is incomplete without the most coveted championship in combat sports – UFC heavyweight gold. On Dec. 30, the 31-year-old kickboxer extraordinaire, who is 10-0 with one no contest in his last eleven bouts, will battle Lesnar for the right to fight for the UFC title. With wins over the likes of Fabricio Werdum, Vitor Belfort, Mark Hunt and Sergei Kharitonov in his 12-year career, “The Reem” seeks the biggest victory of his career in the final UFC event of 2011.

“This fight is going to be the most important fight of my career,” Overeem (35-11-1) said. “I have one important mission left in my career and that is to get the UFC gold around my waist. The winner of this fight gets a title shot, so beating Brock brings me one step closer to having the UFC belt. Our fight on Dec. 30 will be bigger than Godzilla versus King Kong!”

Since coming to UFC in February, perhaps no lightweight has garnered as much buzz as Cerrone (fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.). With four straight wins inside the Octagon and six consecutive victories overall, including his most recent submission win over Dennis Siver at UFC 137, the 28-year-old is knocking on the door of a title shot. First, he must defeat Diaz (fighting out of Stockton, Calif.), who returned to the lightweight division in Sept. and submitted Takanori Gomi to improve his record to 14-7. Now, the younger brother of top welterweight contender Nick Diaz has his sights set on ending the impressive winning streak of Cerrone (17-3, 1 NC).

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