When analyzing the UFC Fight Night heavyweight main event between Walt Harris and Alistair Overeem on Saturday night, it's hard to look past the outside issues that cast a shadow over the event. These two men were set to square off in December before Harris was forced to withdraw in November following the tragic disappearance of his stepdaughter. Unfortunately, the worst-case scenario would play out as the body of Aniah Blanchard was recovered later that month, having been kidnapped and murdered.
The fight between the two was bumped to April 11 from there. Then the global coronavirus pandemic threw the world into chaos and the fight was delayed again. Now, after all the tragedy and complications, Harris and Overeem are set to face off in an empty VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, on Saturday night.
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Ultimately, setting aside all other factors, Harris and Overeem are going to throw down. On paper, it is a prototypical heavyweight battle between two huge men with big knockout power. Harris stands 6-foot-5 and nearly hits the 265-pound heavyweight limit, making him one of the few men in the UFC who hold the size advantage over the 6-foot-4 Overeem.
Here are some stats that speak to the kind of fight fans can expect on Saturday:
- Only 11 of their combined 85 career fights have gone to the judges' scorecards.
- All 13 of Harris' wins have come via knockout.
- Nine of Overeem's previous 10 fights have ended by knockout.
Overeem would be on a three-fight winning streak if he had managed to last four more seconds in his most recent outing, a last-second knockout loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Harris has won four consecutive fights, though his win over Andrei Arlovski was overturned to a no contest after a failed drug test from a tainted supplement.
Saturday's card provides you one last chance to catch live fights over at least another two weeks, and it has some interesting names to boot. Claudia Gadleha is back in the co-main event against a woman who wants to be known as the female version of "Cowboy" Cerrone in Angela Hill. Gadelha is in a bit of a rebuilding phase while Hill will be making her seventh walk to the Octagon in the last 14 months. Plus, Edson Barboza makes his debut at 145 pounds when he takes on the surging Dan Ige.
Plus, Eryk "Ya Boi" Anders is back in a middleweight showdown with Krzysztof Jotko as he looks to rebound from a scuffling run. And a pair of rising prospects at featherweight link up when Song Yadong meets Marlin Vera. The fight was nearly canceled due to via issues for Yadong, leading his coach, Urijah Faber, to weigh in on Friday as an emergency replacement. The issues were eventually resovled.
Here's the fight card for UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris with the latest odds from William Hill Sportsbook.
UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris card, odds
Walt Harris -150
Alistair Overeem +125
Claudia Gadelha -240
Angela Hill +200
Edson Barboza -150
Dan Ige +125
|Krzysztof Jotko -150||Eryk Anders +125||Middleweight|
|Song Yadong -195||Marlon Vera +165||Featherweight|
UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris viewing info
Date: May 16 | Start time: 9 p.m. ET
Location: VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena -- Jacksonville, Florida
TV Channel: ESPN | Stream: ESPN+
Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris: Someone is getting knocked out in Saturday's main event, there's little doubt about that. Harris has suffered two knockout losses in his career, both coming back in 2014. On the other side of the Octagon, Overeem has been knocked out 14 times, including five times since 2014. Based on Overeem's tendency to get knocked out and Harris' massive power, the likely outcome feels like another stoppage loss for Overeem. Pick: Walt Harris via KO1.
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