Top 5 Biggest Glass Cannons in MMA

In honour of Alistair Overeem's upcoming fight on Saturday, I rank the top 5 glass cannons in MMA history

For the uninitiated, a glass cannon in combat sports is a fighter who has superb offensive capabilities that often result in big knockouts (the "cannon"), but also has defensive deficiencies and typically a chin that doesn't hold up well under fire, resulting in knockout losses (the "glass"). As such, glass cannons make for exciting fights and typically deliver vicious knockouts, whether they're starching their opponents or getting clocked themselves.


Glass cannons usually come in the form of heavyweights, as knockout power is common there and thus the ability to absorb a big shot is more important and significantly more noticeable if you can't.


This list is looking at fighters who have spent the majority of their careers fitting the criteria for a glass cannon; knockout artists who simply aged and lost their chins are common and typically they lose much of their "cannon" characteristics as well as they get older. Those fighters are thus not included in this list, as they only became glass cannons when they were past their prime (for some examples: Fedor Emilianenko, Chuck Liddell, Shogun Rua).


Without further ado, let's take a look at the biggest glass cannons in MMA history.


5. Todd Duffee 9-3 1NC (9 knockout wins, 3 knockout losses)

Todd Duffee is a hulking mass of muscle and aggression. When he burst into the UFC back in 2009, Duffee was viewed as the future of the heavyweight division. A physical specimen (who also "needed" testosterone replacement therapy back when it was legal) with explosive athletic ability, great takedown defense, heavy hands and relentless offense, his potential was massive.


Duffee started his career with 6 straight knockout wins, including a UFC record (at the time) 7 second KO over the late Tim Hague in his UFC debut. Duffee quickly became one of the hottest prospects in the heavyweight division - that is, until he met pudgy wrestler Mike Russow at UFC 114.


The fight's first two rounds showcased Duffee's surprisingly solid boxing ability for a heavyweight at the time, his superb takedown defense and raw strength against a good collegiate wrestler, and his crushing power. Russow was essentially used as a punching bag by the young prospect, getting battered at every turn and offering virtually nothing in return. But with such an offensive onslaught that somehow hadn't resulted in a finish, Duffee's imposing frame was running low on gas. In the third round, Russow started landing his pitter-patter punches which looked like a mere annoyance to his vastly overpowered foe.


Until a weak-looking right hand from Russow landed flush and sent Duffee crashing to the canvas.


An insultingly light hammer fist just made the finish all the more comical, and in the blink of an eye, the division's brightest prospect was turned into the butt of a joke. Obviously cardio played a major factor, but the fact that such a weak punch from a fighter not known for having any power at all managed to knock him unconscious, Duffee's chin was brought into question and for good reason.


Oddly, the UFC released Duffee after a single loss, stating that the young heavyweight needed an "attitude adjustment". Duffee went on to face Alistair Overeem on short notice for a New Year's Eve show in Japan, at the height of Overeem's powers. Duffee got lamped in just 19 seconds.


After an extended layoff due to injuries (which had already become a staple of Duffee's career, and would continue to do so in the years following), Duffee rebounded with a 34-second knockout win that earned himself a return to the UFC which was starving for exciting heavyweights.


Two quick knockout wins over low-tier fighters earned Duffee a spot against former UFC champion and submission specialist Frank Mir. Mir had recently been on a 4-fight skid before righting the ship with a highlight reel knockout of Bigfoot Silva. Mir was expected to go for the takedown early and if he couldn't secure it, his suspect chin and porous defense was expected to cause him major problems against someone with the offensive capabilities of Duffee.


The fight started with the two heavyweights slugging it out in the middle of the octagon, winging shots and narrowly avoiding certain doom. Mir landed several good shots before a return from Duffee sent him onto his back foot - Duffee then charged forward, winging one of the ugliest and least technical right hooks you could ever imagine. That poor choice sealed Duffee's fate, as Mir smoothly moved his head offline and rifled a straight left hand down the middle that cracked Duffee's chin and shut his lights off in an instant.


Duffee cemented his status as a top-tier glass cannon that night - a slugger that can put anyone out on a moment's notice, but can also be knocked out in spectacular fashion at any time. Win or lose, all 12 of his fights ended via a vicious knockout, making him an exciting addition to any card in need of action.


After an injury layoff that lasted over 4 years, Duffee returned to action earlier this year in Vancouver. Looking noticeably less muscular than his prior form (thanks USADA), Duffee took on a durable mid-tier heavyweight and looked sharp early, rocking his opponent on multiple occasions and nearly earning himself a finish. He even had a bit of strategy this time, as he looked to clinch up and avoid returns after his trademark barrages of punches, though he still ate some shots anyway. The heavyweight firefight ended in disappointment however after Duffee was inadvertantly poked in the eye and started seeing double, leading to a No Contest as he was deemed unable to continue.


Even with the anticlimactic ending, the fight was one of the highlights of the event and was a good old fashioned slobberknocker. Duffee may not be a technical striker or a defensive savant, but he always delivers excitement and enthusiastically fulfills his role as a true glass cannon.


Here's hoping he can stay healthy outside the cage and inject some consistency into his career.


4. Jimi Manuwa

17-6 (15 knockout wins, 5 knockout losses)

One shot, one kill. That's the philosophy Jimi Manuwa fights by, for better or for worse.


A 6'1 light heavyweight with a long frame and massive power, Manuwa combines great offensive boxing with nasty knees and whipping kicks. His offense is amongst the best in the division and his left hook in particular is capable of separating anyone from their consciousness at any time.


The UK's "Posterboy" became one of the most feared fighters in the 205-pound division when he made his way into the UFC back in 2012, demolishing the mid-tier but incredibly tough Kyle Kingsbury in his debut to raise his record to a sublime 12-0 with a 100% finishing rate (11 by way of knockout).


His vicious power, strong clinch work, and solid boxing led him to another two finish victories (both injuries inflicted on his opponents) including a top-10 win over the late Ryan Jimmo before he would face a top contender in Alexander Gustafsson. Gustafsson had cut through the division and was coming off of 2013's Fight of the Year opposite Jon Jones, in a title fight that Gustafsson arguably won, making him the top 205er on the planet in the eyes of many.


Despite being a striker, Gustafsson looked scared to hang out on the feet with the power that Manuwa brought to the match. Instead, the Swede took his opponent down early and kept on him for the entire round, much to the chagrin of the fans in attendance. After instilling the fear of the takedown into Manuwa in the opening stanza, Gustafsson mixed in his boxing to land uppercuts on the Englishman as he backed into the cage and was looking to stuff a takedown that simply wasn't coming. A nasty knee followed by more uppercuts sent Manuwa to the canvas and a few hammer fists ended Manuwa's night early in the second round.


Manuwa didn't find MMA until later in his life, with his first professional fight coming when he was already 28 years old. As fight fans know, most fighters (though there are exceptions) start losing their ability to take a shot in their mid- to late-thirties. Unfortunately for Manuwa, by the time he had reached the upper echelon of the sport, he was already in his mid-thirties and his chin was less than stellar.


After a gritty bounceback fight which earned Manuwa the first (and only) decision win of his career against Jan Blachowicz, Manuwa was slotted against one of the fiercest knockout artists in MMA: Anthony "Rumble" Johnson.


Fans were excited for the matchup: two of the hardest hitting strikers in the UFC slugging it out for a coveted contendership slot. Unfortunately, Rumble borrowed from Gustafsson's playbook, not even pretending to want to strike with the British banger before diving on a takedown. Rumble simply laid on Manuwa, using his mass to keep Manuwa pinned and looking to tire out Jimi by making him carry his weight. Early in the second, Johnson came out firing with a right hand that caught Manuwa clean and that was all she wrote.


Fortunately the cannon would return to the fore in his next two fights. After stuffing Ovince St. Preux's wrestling and picking him apart at range, a tired OSP was no match for Manuwa's bone crunching power and hit the canvas in supremely violent fashion after Manuwa backed him into the cage and went for the kill. A slick left to the body primed a brutal right hand which dropped OSP, who returned to his feet only to get planted by Manuwa's brilliant left hook.


The next victim of Manuwa's left hook (my favourite strike) was Corey Anderson, who is now one of the top light heavyweight contenders in the world. In their 2017 matchup, Anderson looked like a deer in headlights when the collegiate wrestler was unable to get Manuwa to the mat after several takedown attempts. The Posterboy always had solid takedown defense to complement his boxing focus, but after it was shown to be not quite up to par against top contenders in Gustafsson and Johnson, he had clearly worked hard to ensure that would no longer be an issue. The difference in striking was made clear, and Anderson recoiled every time Manuwa landed even a glancing blow.


Just past the midway point in the opening frame, as Anderson was backing away, Manuwa launched a long left hook that sent Anderson toppling over like a falling tree. No follow-up shots were needed and Manuwa found himself back into a top contendership position.


Jimi was placed against the streaking Volkan Oezdemir, who was coming off an odd 28-second KO over a top 10 opponent himself. Manuwa would be on the receiving end of another of Oezdemir's odd knockouts - after getting into the clinch, Oezdemir rifled off hooks and uppercuts that rocked Manuwa despite Oezdemir's back being against the cage and his feet in poor position to generate power. Manuwa was stumbling backward and flailing to try to recover while continuing to eat shots before being thrown onto the mat and put out cold with a few ground strikes in a mere 42 seconds.


A rematch against Jan Blachowicz delivered an exciting war as both men rocked each other and landed throughout, with Manuwa wobbled virtually every time Blachowicz hit him but he was somehow able to survive the full 15 minutes and land shots of his own. There, Jan's superior defense and grappling nabbed him the win, and Manuwa was handed his first (and only) decision loss.


Against surging Brazilian murderer Thiago Santos, Manuwa engaged in an insane back and forth brawl. Where many would have adjusted their style to try and avoid getting knocked out again by this point, Manuwa doubled down on his exciting style and was willing to sacrifice his brain cells to put on a show for the fans. Santos and Manuwa put on the Round of the Year with their insane war at UFC 231. In between the rounds of the hectic firefight, the younger Santos was able to recover much better than his older peer, and was able to close the show early in the second round (ironically by a left hook, Manuwa's favourite).


The Posterboy would return to the Octagon one last time earlier this year to face a prospect in Aleksandar Rakic; he was caught by a head kick and brutally knocked out in just 42 seconds.


Jimi Manuwa's career didn't enjoy great longevity and he never quite reached the ever-elusive title shot he had gotten so close to, but he epitomized what makes a glass cannon so great - he had raw, unsettling power along with brilliant offensive tools, and even though he also suffered some vicious losses, he never changed the exciting style that the fans loved him for. He lived by the sword and died by the sword without a second thought, and I'll be damned if he didn't give MMA fans some great memories along the way.


3. Andrei Arlovski 28-19 (17 knockout wins, 11 knockout losses)

Andrei Arlovski is the prototypical glass cannon in MMA.


Starting his career way back in 1999, the Belarussian heavyweight is one of the pioneers of the sport and is incredibly still competing some two decades later. His vaunted right hand is the stuff of legends, but his chin has famously let him down time and time again throughout his lengthy career.


Fittingly, Arlovski's very first professional MMA fight ended in a brutal knockout loss for the debuting 20 year old. Three straight finishes in under 90 seconds (two knockouts) earned him a call up to the UFC, where he would lock up a 55-second armbar for his promotional debut way back in the year 2000. From there, he would face two early UFC legends in Ricco Rodriguez and Pedro Rizzo, being knocked out by both in the third round of each fight.


From there Arlovski would put together a title run, winning three straight by knockout including a vicious KO over Vladimir Matyushenko and a mauling of the famously durable punching bag Wesley "Cabbage" Correira. After UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir was severely injured in a motorcycle accident, the UFC held an interim title bout between Tim Sylvia, who had recently had his arm broken from an armbar by Mir, and top contender Andrei Arlovski.


Arlovski dropped Sylvia with a thunderous right hand before going for an achilles lock and tapping out the giant 6'8 favourite in just 47 seconds. Putting all of his skills together in the Octagon, it looked like Arlovski had the entire package as a heavyweight: superb athleticism, raw knockout power and solid boxing, good takedown defense and a submission game to boot.


He went on to defend his interim title with a first round knockout before the UFC promoted him to undisputed heavyweight champion due to Mir's extended injury absence. He would defend that title as well with a wicked 15-second KO of Paul Buentello, landing a short right cross counter that caused the challenger to fall directly onto Arlovski's back.


It looked to fans as though Arlovski would have a long reign as UFC champion when a rematch with Tim Sylvia came to fruition. Unfortunately for Arlovski, his chin would be cracked once again as Sylvia landed a short counter when Arlovski came forward with his trademark right hand, dropping him to all fours before follow-up shots left poor Andrei facedown on the canvas.


A rubber match was made to determine once and for all the better fighter at UFC 61, only for both fighters to stink up the joint with an incredibly tepid affair with both fighters looking wary of each other's finishing ability and thus largely refused to engage at all for a full 25 minutes. Sylvia would defend his title with a decision win simply by being slightly less terrible than Arlovski was that night.


Andrei would bounce back by rattling off three more victories, two by knockout, before his UFC contract expired and he went on to sign a lucrative contract with the newly formed Affliction MMA promotion. There, he flatlined the extremely durable Ben Rothwell with another of his trademark right hand bombs followed by an uppercut.


Being leased out to EliteXC (which also co-promoted with Affliction), Arlovski's ridiculously powerful right hand would solidify its legacy as one of the most powerful weapons in MMA history. The iron chin of "Big Country" Roy Nelson was no match for a prime Arlovski's piston straight right, as an uppercut wobbled the famously durable Nelson before his trademark straight right closed the show.


If you don't know, Roy Nelson was one of the most durable fighters in MMA history and arguably had the most ridiculous ability to absorb punishment we have ever seen in the sport. Nelson wouldn't be stopped again for some six years after fighting the top heavyweights on the planet in 14 fights after the Arlovski loss; the likes of a prime Junior Dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier, and more all put absolute beatings on Nelson yet failed to finish the iron-jawed American. He simply ate heavyweight power punches for breakfast, and that isn't even a dig at his weight. The fact that Arlovski was able to knock him dead shows just how lethal Arlovski was back in the day.


Of course, his next fight showcased the other side of the Arlovski coin: the glass.


Facing the legendary Fedor Emilianenko back in Affliction, many viewed their matchup as a test to determine the true best heavyweight in MMA at the time: former UFC champ Arlovski who was riding high on a killing spree, and the last PRIDE champion Fedor who was on a 24-fight unbeaten streak and whose only loss had come via a controversial cut stoppage.


Arlovski surprised many by coming out and taking it to Fedor, rifling off combinations and hurting the seemingly unstoppable Russian pioneer. A single poor decision later, Arlovski was napping on the canvas.


Arlovski had backed Fedor into the corner (Affliction events took place in a boxing ring despite having MMA rules, similar to PRIDE) after he landed a right hand and a push kick. He then decided to try a flying knee against his hurt prey. Were it successful, he would have become the first man to legitimately beat "The Last Emperor" and would have been seen as the greatest heavyweight ever (at the time). Instead, he jumped right into an overhand right which instantly sent him unconscious face-first into the canvas. MMA is a cruel and unforgiving game, especially at heavyweight.


The brutal loss was just the first in a four-fight skid. After Affliction folded, Arlovski went to Strikeforce and lost three straight, including a 22-second TKO and a brutal knockout at the hands of Sergei Kharitonov.


It looked like Arlovski's time at the upper end of the division had come to an end, as the Belarussian bomber simply couldn't handle the heat being thrown back his way.


Undeterred, Arlovski instead rebuilt himself as a much more conservative fighter, picking his opportunities wisely and mixing in his underappreciated grappling and clinch game alongside improving his striking defense. While it wasn't as regularly exciting as his previous bouts, he was keeping his chin out of harm's way and scoring finishes later in fights as he took advantage of the notoriously weak cardio of most heavyweights. The style even earned him a beautiful head kick KO of 300+ fight veteran Travis Fulton with just a single second left to go in their fight, almost negating the 14:59 of tedium preceeding it.


A fourth bout with Tim Sylvia, who was now out of shape and far past his prime, saw Arlovski dominate before the bout ended via No Contest thanks to an illegal soccer kick over in One FC. Two more wins preceeded a bout with Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, who moved all the way up to heavyweight to fight Arlovski in the WSOF. Arlovski was cracked early and had his jaw broken by the heavy-handed bomber in the opening round, yet miraculously managed to survive and showed the heart of a lion in making it to a hard-fought decision despite the injury.


Two more wins saw Arlovski earn his return to the UFC, where he would take on Brendan Schaub in Vancouver. Schaub was quite the glass cannon himself, so fans expected fireworks and a KO was all-but guaranteed. Nobody told that to the two fighters though, as both were content to make the fight a clinch-fest and avoid any chance of getting knocked out; Arlovski took home a dull split decision that went over with fans like a fart in the wind.


Getting his return out of the way, Arlovski went to work, knocking out Bigfoot Silva to avenge an earlier decision loss back in Strikeforce. He would then beat the daylight out of Travis Browne in a slugfest which saw Arlovski rock Ronda Rousey's future husband on multiple occasions (including once via a brilliant back fist) before the ref eventually saved Browne from further punishment.


A decision win over a similarly resurgent Frank Mir saw Arlovski get another crack at the UFC heavyweight title, something that seemed impossible if you had seen Arlovski's Strikeforce run just a few years prior.


A good boxer who can find an opponent's chin isn't a good matchup for Arlovski however, and Stipe Miocic defended his title with ease in just 54 seconds. The loss would kick off another skid for Arlovski, this time a career low 5-fight losing streak which saw him get knocked out brutally in two of those bouts, against Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou.


From there Arlovski would move camps and sharpen his offense to avoid getting caught up in firefights, as well as improving his lackluster defense. He won two decisions before dropping four in a row, though two of those arguably should have gone his way and one was later overturned to a No Contest due to his opponent failing a drug test.


Facing being cut by the UFC, Arlovski came back in the best form we've seen him in years in a rematch against Ben Rothwell. Looking reinvigorated, Arlovski was firing off brilliant combos and thudding kicks, keeping up a significant pace (especially for a heavyweight) and putting a beating on the durable slugger. Though he wasn't able to replicate his 2008 KO, Arlovski took home a dominant decision win and proved the old man still had something left in the tank.


At least against fighters more on his level.


In his last outing, Arlovski faced Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Rozenstruik was 8-0 in MMA with 7 knockouts, but was more known for his work in kickboxing: the Surinamese striker sported an impressive 76-8 record in the sport with a whopping 64 knockouts. His presence in the UFC was immediately felt in his two fights for the organization, which both resulted in highlight reel knockouts and one took just 9 seconds.


Arlovski was simply no match for the seasoned striker and he was dropped by a comically short left hook as he rushed in. Luckily, Rozenstruik didn't deliver an extra blow and Arlovski never completely lost consciousness in the 29-second affair.


Arlovski has had a career filled with ups and downs - he has experienced the highest of highs as a champion in the UFC and delivering some of the most memorable knockouts in the sport, but he has also experienced the lowest of the lows as he's been on the receiving end of many such knockouts and suffered from lengthy losing streaks.


He was the first true glass cannon in MMA and easily one of the most successful. He endured two decades of the brutal sport, reinvented himself on multiple occasions and always handled himself admirably and with respect for the sport and his opponents. Hopefully he finally hangs them up while he still has his wits about him and can reap the rewards of a lucrative career.


2. Melvin Manhoef MMA: 32-14-1 2NC (29 knockout wins, 5 knockout losses)

Kickboxing: 38-14 (27 knockout wins, 6 knockout losses)

If you could take pure violence and conjure it into physical form, that form would look a lot like Melvin Manhoef.


Standing at just 5'8 and being able to make welterweight in MMA (170 pounds), Manhoef isn't the biggest guy but his power is downright sickening. Never backing down from anyone regardless of weight class, Manhoef has fought in every division north of 170 pounds and spent much of his kickboxing career as a heavyweight despite his massive size disadvantage.


What he lacks in height and reach he makes up for with explosive speed and bone crunching power.


Manhoef was raised in the Netherlands and the Surinamese native quickly took to the Dutch style of kickboxing - fast and powerful combinations with the hands alongside powerful leg kicks and body work. Coming from kickboxing, he also kept himself extremely busy, as you can see by his records which combine for over 100 fights (and counting).


It would take many more pages to go through Manhoef's entire career, so instead I'll leave you with the basics.


Manhoef is all-offense, all the time. While perfectly capable of fighting technically, Melvin would much rather wing wild hooks and try to take his opponent's head clean off than engage in a tactical skirmish with anyone. When he lets his hands go he is a whirling dervish of fistic fury, and when he connects, he doesn't just knock people out, he sends them to another dimension.


To give you an understanding of just how hard this man can punch, he knocked out the famously granite-jawed Mark Hunt in just 18 seconds at heavyweight.


Go spend some time looking up "Melvin Manhoef highlights" on Youtube and you will be treated to a wide assortment of vicious knockouts. His takes the Dutch style of kickboxing to the extreme - crippling low kicks combined with flurries of punches and little else. While this makes him somewhat limited against top fighters, the threat of his power and his steady improvement in grappling defense is more than enough to beat most fighters that get locked into the cage with him.


His imposing power has even had several fighters literally run away from him in the middle of a fight. And honestly, I can't blame them.


Even at 43 years of age with a career starting way back in 1995, Manhoef is still competing and is still capable of putting anyone to sleep. He fought for the Bellator middleweight title just a few years ago in 2017, and in that same year beat legendary heavyweight Remy Bonjasky in a kickboxing match (which he fought surprisingly technically in).


Of course, as with all the fighters on this list, Manhoef doesn't have the strongest defensive acumen.


His all-offense style leaves him dangerously exposed quite frequently, and considering he often fought against much larger men, that combined to make for some brutal results. The damage he took in those fights earlier in his career at heavyweight in kickboxing undoubtedly hampered his ability to take a shot later on. Especially when that shot is flush on the chin because his wild aggression leaves him helplessly open for a counter.


Often Manhoef's knockout losses come when he has his opponent hurt and then chases his target, forgetting entirely about defense and focusing completely on murdering his prey (which he admittedly does accomplish quite often). One of his most famous losses came at the hands of Ruthless Robbie Lawler in Strikeforce.


It looked like it was only a matter of time before "Ruthless" Robbie was another of Manhoef's victims; Melvin's brutal leg kicks were already causing Lawler to limp and continuously stumble off balance just minutes into the fight. One such leg kick completely took away Lawler's base, but instead of putting him out of position to throw back, which is what Melvin undoubtedly thought as he stepped forward, Lawler hunkered down from his new position and threw a hail mary right hand out of his opposite stance which put Manhoef on ice in an incredible come-from-behind KO.


While Manhoef's thrilling style limited the heights that he could reach in both kickboxing and MMA, it's that same style that made him such an incredible fighter to watch and earned him a ridiculous body count.


He is one of the best knockout artists in combat sports history and inarguably one of the greatest glass cannons to ever grace a cage (or ring). Even at 43 he's still going strong, though hopefully he'll call it a day sometime before he suffers much more brain trauma for his efforts.


1. Alistair Overeem

MMA: 45-17 1NC (23 knockout wins, 13 knockout losses)

Kickboxing: 10-4 (7 knockout wins, 3 knockout losses)

There could be only one.


No heavyweight in MMA history has the same level of offensive skill as Alistair Overeem. His legendary knees are absurdly vicious, his kicks crack like a whip, his hands are heavy and his offensive boxing is sharp. He carries concussive power with all "eight" limbs in Muay Thai; both hands, both elbows, both knees, both shins. He is simply put the most talented and offensively technical striker the heavyweight division has ever seen.


Unfortunately for the Reem, his defensive capabilities are not nearly as impressive.


The lanky 6'5 Dutchman started his career way back in 1999 at the age of 18, competing in both kickboxing and MMA bouts in the Netherlands and Japan at light heavyweight. While he would dabble in kickboxing matches over the years, his primary focus was MMA and after racking up 9 straight wins he would venture to Japan to compete in the beloved PRIDE organization. There, the rangy "Demolition Man" would earn his stripes and garner a following thanks to his exciting style.


While his hands weren't particularly noteworthy at that weight, his knees were vicious and his submission game was very impressive. He continued to rack up wins and scored a variety of different submissions, cementing himself as a finisher no matter where the fight went. He even scored submission wins over MMA legends Vitor Belfort and Igor Vovchanchyn to place himself amongst the elite in the division, but when under fire from top-tier fighters he looked uncomfortable and his chin didn't hold up well.


Despite compiling an impressive resume of wins, Overeem often stumbled against stiff competition. Future UFC champion and legend Chuck Liddell iced Overeem in his journey over to Japan, Mauricio Shogun Rua scored an easy ground and pound TKO over him, and in mid-2006 Alistair started a three fight skid with all three losses being by knockout/TKO (albeit to very good fighters), capped off by Shogun's famous diving punch which starched the underpowered Dutchman in their rematch.


With his career momentum ground to a halt, the 6'5 lanky light heavyweight opted to stop cutting weight and instead move up to compete against the behemoths at heavyweight. He slowly began packing more muscle onto his frame, and it saw some positive results quickly, with a submission win in MMA and a KO victory in kickboxing coming in mid-2007. Unfortunately, that inability to take punishment saw him get viciously knocked out and sent through the ropes by Sergei Kharitonov in their rematch at heavyweight, who he had previously beat by TKO stemming from his powerful knees.


But Overeem was in a bulking phase. Fighting overseas where "supplements" weren't tested for and were even actively encouraged by some promoters, "Ubereem" was beginning to form. Where once stood a gangly 205-pounder now stood a mass of rippling muscle, his head getting visibly larger as his traps soon looked like they were hiding soccer balls underneath.


Hilariously, when asked about his size gains Overeem claim