UFC 213 results: Alistair Overeem wins by majority decision over Fabricio Werdum
An extremely close fight came down to a pair of judges' scorecards
The third time proved to be the charm for veteran heavyweight Alistair Overeem in Saturday's trilogy bout against former champion Fabricio Werdum -- and a second UFC title shot could very well be in his future.
Overeem (43-15) fought off a huge third round from Werdum to take home a disputed victory by majority decision (28-28, 29-28 twice) that left the T-Mobile Arena crowd in Las Vegas booing him. CBS Sports scored the bout 29-28 for Werdum.
The fight was their third meeting in a rivalry that goes back to 2006, but their first inside the Octagon after previous skirmishes with Pride (2006) and Strikeforce (2011).
The main issue with the fight's scoring centered around how judges handled a first round that lacked action. Overeem, 37, showcased a much different fighting stance with his feet spaced apart and his hands at his waist, looking to counter Werdum.
After the non eventful opening round, Overeem appeared to control the second frame by inching closer and scoring with punches from the outside. The third round, however, fell decidedly in favor of Werdum (21-7-1).
"First of all, a lot of respect for Fabricio. Great fighter and great adversary," Overeem said. "I thought I had the first two [rounds] and, of course, Fabricio had the third."
The native of Brazil, who was knocked out by Stipe Miocic during his first title defense in 2016, floored Overeem with a knee to the face and a stiff right hand. He closed the dominant round in top position on the ground, routinely scoring with strikes.
"I definitely have to admit that third round was not one of my best," Overeem said. "It was a very good round for Fabricio.
"I fought him two times before. This is the first time since he became UFC champion. I have a lot of respect for him."
Despite the wide margin in which Werdum won the final round, two of the judges awarded the opening round to Overeem, which shifted the decision in his favor. Ten months after Overeem was knocked out in the first round against Miocic during their heavyweight championship bout, the Dutch striker appears to be close to a second chance considering the extreme lack of depth in the division.
"The hard work continues," Overeem said. "I fought Stipe before for the heavyweight belt. I didn't get it. I doubled down and went back to work and the work will not stop until I have the UFC heavyweight title. Boom."
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