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UFC 141: Lesnar Vs. Overeem Features Simple Main Event, But Can Brock Execute His Gameplan?

The gameplan for both Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem at UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem is pretty straightforward. Lesnar, the Division-1 wrestling champion, is going to try and take Overeem, the K-1 kickboxing champion down to the ground to neutralize his stand-up. On the flip side, Overeem is going to try and shrug off the takedown, all the while trying to beat Lesnar's face into a fine mash. It's all very simple on paper.

But Lesnar's usual gameplan of bull-rushing his opponent to try and bully them into a takedown may not be the smartest move, at least against a guy like Overeem. Unlike Frank Mir and Cain Velasquez, Overeem sports similar size and strength Lesnar, and he's not one to wilt under pressure. More than that, Overeem is the kind of guy who will absolutely punish you if your takedowns don't come at the right time. He's the kind of guy who will steal your soul with a well-placed knee.

No, Lesnar will need to set up his takedown, or so-says "King" Mo Lawal, former Strikeforce heavyweight champion, via Yahoo!:

If I were Brock, I would establish a good jab, fake ... jab, fake ... fake, jab. Look to shoot off the fakes. You know in wrestling. if the person doesn't respond to your fakes then you shoot next time. If the person responds to your fakes then you throw punches ... It's going to be very important for Brock to set up his takedowns because without the setups, he's getting knocked out or hurt ... Overeem is the wrong person to shoot on out of the blue.

Really, that's great and all - and the general response when talking about wrestlers needing the takedown. Of course a fighter needs to set up his takedowns, lest they get stuffed or worse, kneed into oblivion. But it's worth noting here, specifically due to Overeem's insane strength and striking ability. Lesnar absolutely has to set up every single one of his takedowns to be successful in this fight.

The problem is that Overeem is, again, a trained striker. He'll likely know what's a fake, especially for someone with as rudimentary striking as Lesnar. I'm sure Brock has a series of tells that Overeem will be able to discern rather quickly, so unless Lesnar catches him with something early (a TKO for Lesnar standing is not out of the realm of possibility, solely because of just how big these monsters are, mind you), the more he tries to set up the takedown, the more obvious it might become.

Lesnar's gameplan is very clear. What's not clear is his striking ability needed to execute the gameplan. By all accounts, he's not a great striker and is very telegraphed. If we see a Lesnar who jabs technically and sets up some particularly inventive and surprising takedowns, it will be a totally new Lesnar in the octagon.