Alistair Overeem overcomes adversity to score TKO win over Walt Harris
Alistair Overeem celebrated his 40th birthday with a big win over “The Big Ticket” Walt Harris on Saturday night.
It wasn’t a walk in the park for the Dutchman, however.
In the first round, Overeem had to dig deep into his reserves after being floored early on. Harris, who was fighting for the first time since the tragic death of his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard, was a man on a mission and overwhelmed his opponent with big power punches standing and again on the ground after scoring a knockdown.
Referee Dan Miragliotta held fire on calling the fight off and Overeem somehow squirmed his way back to his feet.
Soon, it was Overeem who was on top and delivering punishment after he capitalised on a slip to round off the opening stanza.
Harris went into the second round looking fatigued and Overeem stunned him with a head kick before landing a power left straight to score a knockdown of his own.
From there, it was all Overeem as he took Harris’ back and flattened him out to deliver a series of unanswered punches which saw the fight called off.
Overeem respectfully embraced Harris after his win and, like many, has talked about his admiration for Harris and his family for the way they have dealt with such an awful family tragedy.
Claudia Gadelha edges Angela Hill in split decision
SOOOO CLOSE! 😬
— UFC (@ufc) May 17, 2020
Claudia Gadelha earned the a decision win over Angela Hill but it wasn’t without controversy on a night of fights littered with odd judging calls.
Two of three judges scored the fight 29-28 in Gadelha’s favour in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Brazilian undoubtedly had the better of things in the first round, landing power punches with accuracy before earning a takedown and delivering some ground and pound punishment on the floor in side control to end a dominant opening five minutes.
Hill, however, turned up the heat on her opponent in the second round, landing punches and kicks to bloody Gadelha and score what seemed like a vital knockdown at the time.
The final round saw both Hill and Gadelha land strikes, with Hill appearing to score with greater volume while Gadelha had a bit more sting on hers.
It was one of those fights that needed five rounds to eliminate any controversial outcomes. However, it’s Gadelha who emerged from the Octagon victorious.
UFC on ESPN 8: Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris full results
Heavyweight: Alistair Overeem def. Walt Harris by TKO (punches) at 3:00 of round two
Women’s Strawweight: Cláudia Gadelha def. Angela Hill by split decision after three rounds
Featherweight: Dan Ige def. Edson Barboza by split decision after three rounds
Middleweight: Krzysztof Jotko def. Eryk Anders by unanimous decision after three rounds
Featherweight: Song Yadong def. Marlon Vera by unanimous decision after three rounds
Welterweight: Miguel Baeza def. Matt Brown by KO (punch) at 0:18 of round two
Middleweight: Kevin Holland def. Anthony Hernandez by TKO (knee to the body and punches) at 0:39 of round one
Featherweight: Giga Chikadze def. Irwin Rivera Decision by unanimous decision after three rounds
Featherweight: Nate Landwehr def. Darren Elkins by unanimous decision after three rounds
Women’s Flyweight: Cortney Casey def. Mara Romero Borella by submission (armbar) at 3:36 of round one
Heavyweight: Rodrigo Nascimento def. Don’Tale Mayes by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:05 of round two