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The UFC is back again on Saturday night, putting on their third show in one week, and DraftKings is offering multiple ways for mixed martial arts fans to get in on the action. DraftKings users can enter for their chance to win big prizes in Saturday’s fantasy MMA $500k Throwdown Special contest, which pays out a guaranteed $500,000, including $100k to first place. The action gets underway at 6:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. Set your lineups here: MMA $500K Throwdown Special [$100K to 1st].

DraftKings users can also get in on the action by betting on DraftKings Sportsbook or by downloading the DK Sportsbook app.

Below, we will take a look at the main event, which is a heavyweight fight between Alistair Overeem and Walt Harris.

All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.


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DraftKings Sportsbook odds

Moneyline

  • Walt Harris (-165)
  • Alistair Overeem (+138)

To Go the Distance

  • No (-500)
  • Yes (+340)

Winning Method

  • Walt Harris by KO, TKO or DQ (-125)
  • Alistair Overeem by KO, TKO or DQ (+240)
  • Alistair Overeem by Decision (+650)
  • Walt Harris by Decision (+700)
  • Alistair Overeem by Submission (+1200)
  • Walt Harris by Submission (+2800)
  • Tie (+6600)
For the full list of available bets, download the DK Sportsbook app or check out the DraftKings Sportsbook website.


Breakdown

Alistair Overeem is one of the most experienced active fighters in the sport, compiling over 60 professional MMA fights dating back to 1999. Overeem’s body type and effectiveness has changed dramatically throughout his two-decade run. Overeem became known in Japan in the early 2000s as a lanky kickboxer who had a great guillotine choke, but saw a seismic change to his body towards the end of the decade. Overeem put on a significant amount of muscle mass around 2008, which he attributed to eating lots of “horse meat”, and became a wrecking machine in the heavyweight division. From 2008 through the end of 2012, Overeem went 10-0 with one no contest in 11 MMA fights and was routinely destroying opponents with some of the most ferocious knee strikes in the history of MMA. Overeem’s new physique, combined with his destruction of opponents, earned him the nickname “Ubereem”,  and his trademark knee strike was termed the “uber knee”. Overeem became highly effective landing these lethal knees through clinches and by using hand traps to open up room to strike the body.

Overeem’s run as the legendary “Ubereem” also included winning the K-1 World Grand Prix in 2010, a prestigious kickboxing tournament. The tournament win was one of the top moments of Overeem’s career and set the stage for him to make his UFC debut in 2011, where he faced former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in a match that would determine the next challenger for the UFC heavyweight title.

Overeem destroyed Lesnar in the bout and appeared to be a huge threat to become the next UFC heavyweight champion, but he tested positive for a banned substance shortly after the fight and had to serve a suspension. Overeem returned him his suspension looking slower and less explosive and immediately suffered a stunning knockout loss to Antonio Silva, which effectively ended his run as the “Ubereem”. Overeem has had mixed results since then, posting a 9-6 record. Overeem has a reputation for having a suspect chin–even dating back to his pre-“Ubereem” days–and all seven of his most recent UFC losses have been by TKO or KO. Since Overeem’s stunning loss to Silva in 2013, he has gone the distance only three times in 16 fights and has not gone the distance in any of his last five fights.

Overeem did fight for the UFC heavyweight title during that stretch, losing by KO to Stipe Miocic in September 2016. In that fight, Overeem was on the brink of winning the title, as he had Miocic in huge trouble after flattening Miocic with a punch and nearly securing a guillotine choke, but Miocic was able to weather the storm and knock Overeem out with heavy ground-and-pound punches. This has been a theme throughout Overeem’s lengthy career: highly potent offense, but lapses in defense that leads to a lot of knockouts, both on the winning side and losing side.

Overeem’s most recent fight was against Jairzinho Rozenstruik in December 2019. Overeem was ahead of all of the judges scorecards heading into the final seconds of a five-round fight and appeared set to earn a decision win after 25 minutes. However, Rozenstruik landed a stunning knockout punch with less than 10 seconds left in the fight after a tired Overeem let his hands drop. Prior to that fight, Overeem had secured two consecutive TKO wins in the first round and was seconds away from entering this fight on a three-fight win streak. Two of Overeem’s last four losses have been against the elite of the division in Miocic and Francis Ngannou, and he still possesses the offensive skills necessary to be a threat in the division when he is on top of his game.

Overeem’s opponent, Walt Harris, enters this fight with a heavy emotional burden. Harris’ stepdaughter went missing towards the end of 2019 and was later found murdered, and this will be Harris’ first fight since the horrific tragedy. It’s unclear how the horrible tragedy will affect Harris inside the cage, but Harris says he is fighting for his daughter. Prior to Harris’ family tragedy, he had been performing well in the octagon, going on a four-fight unbeaten streak with three TKO/KO finishes before one of his wins was changed to a no contest due testing positive for a banned substance, which Harris claimed was due to a tainted supplement. Since Harris returned from his suspension, he has gone 2-0 with two knockouts within one minute of the first round.

Harris is tall at 6’5″ and moves well for a heavyweight, which has been a large factor in each of his last two wins, as his speed advantage has directly contributed to two swift knockouts. With Overeem’s history of being knocked out, Harris’ speed and power make him a serious threat to win via TKO/KO, and Harris enters the fight as the betting favorite. Both of these fighters possess the ability to end the fight quickly, so it is unlikely to go the distance. If the fight were to go to the distance, it would likely be because Overeem elected to choose an overly cautious strategy.


Prediction

Overeem’s fights can be difficult to predict, because he features potent offense but can have lapses in defense, and it can often come down to whether or not he fights smart, or if he is able to land a flush strike before his opponent does. Because of this, Overeem is a threat to beat almost anyone he faces, but he can also realistically lose to almost any UFC caliber opponent he faces. This was best on display in Overeem’s title fight against Stipe Miocic, where Overeem was very close to beating the best fighter in the division but ultimately ended up unconscious. A few years ago, Overeem would have likely been a significant favorite over Harris, but Harris has displayed strong improvement over his last few fights and Overeem is closing in on age 40.

If electing to go with Harris, the best way to go based on the betting odds would probably be to take Harris by KO/TKO at -125 rather than take him at the Moneyline of -165. All of Overeem’s last seven UFC losses have come via TKO/KO, and Harris has the speed, power and length to connect on a nearly 40-year old Overeem and end the fight with a stoppage. If Harris wins, it is highly likely to be via KO or TKO given Overeem has not lost a fight by a method other than KO/TKO since 2006 and has not lost a decision since 2005. If the fight were to go the distance, it would likely be with Overeem ahead on the scorecards.

I think this fight is closer to a toss up than the betting odds indicate, as the underdog Overeem has more striking and grappling skill and has dramatically more experience. If Harris comes forward and stalks Overeem like he has his last two opponents, Overeem could land a heavy knee to the midsection as Harris closes the distance into the knee, or Overeem could land a counter overhand right to the temple and end the fight with a stoppage. Harris stands southpaw, and a lead right hand would be a dangerous weapon for Overeem to counter an incoming southpaw. Overeem has used this technique against southpaws in the past, most notably crushing a charging southpaw Todd Duffee with knees to the body and heavy lead overhand right hand punches before finishing the fight with a left hook after Duffee’s wrecked midsection caused him to drop his hands. This fight could be similar stylistically, although the obvious caveat is that the Duffee fight happened during the peak of Overeem’s “Ubereem” reign and Overeem isn’t anywhere near the same caliber of fighter anymore.

Because I think this fight is closer to a toss up, I am going to go with Overeem based on the betting odds. If Overeem wins the fight, it is most likely to be via KO or TKO, so he could be a decent value bet at +240 to win via KO/TKO.

Prediction: Alistair Overeem def. Walt Harris by TKO

DraftKings Sportsbook odds for Alistair Overeem def. Walt Harris by KO, TKO or DQ: +240


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