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.
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.
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 -210
Angela Hill +175
Edson Barboza -129
Dan Ige +110
Krzysztof Jotko -155
Eryk Anders +130
Song Yadong -180
Marlon Vera +155Featherweight
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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