4.) Mauricio Rua – Pride 33:
This fight capped off a three-fight losing streak for Overeem after he was finished by Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and it ultimately persuaded him to pack on a ton of muscle and move up to heavyweight. He faced a prime “shogun Rua at Pride 33; not one that whose body is decimated by the toll of many wars and repeated knee surgeries.
Kickboxing was both man’s strength here, and it became painfully obvious that Rua’s Muay Thai was the far superior skillset on that day.
Overeem quickly found out that he couldn’t strike with Rua, succumbing to the vaunted ground and pound of the surging young Grand Prix champion.
“Reem” quickly began eating eight meals a day (and many argue using other “enhancing” substances), and for a while, it worked. But this fight showed us that Overeem is in big trouble when he’s matched up against a true knockout striker who isn’t afraid to take it to him.
That trend continues to this day.