Report: Overeem Tapped to Face Hunt


Alistair Overeem. Photo by Jon Swenson.

Dutch striker Alistair Overeem will reportedly replace an injured Jerome LeBanner against former PRIDE heavyweight contender Mark Hunt in a late addition to Monday’s DREAM.5 event in Japan, which will feature the finals of the promotion’s inaugural lightweight grand prix.

The news comes from The Fight Network, which has confirmed the bout with Overeem himself. DREAM officials are expected to officially announce the bout over the next day or so. LeBanner was forced to withdraw from the fight after suffering injuries during a recent K-1 kickboxing bout against Semmy Schilt.

Overeem last knocked out one-time PRIDE veteran Tae Hyun Lee in the first round at DREAM.4 in June. Prior to that, he forced Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Paul Buentello to tap out due to injuries received from knees to the body at Strikeforce’s “Four Men Enter, One Man Survives” event in November of last year. The win earned Overeem the vacant Strkeforce heavyweight belt.

Meanwhile after nearly five years as a professional kickboxer, Hunt bursted onto the MMA scene in 2004 and quickly shocked the world with consecutive upsets over Wanderlei Silva and Filipovic. Since then the New Zealand native has split his last four fights and has been concentrating on his part-time pro wrestling career during his time off since the demise of the PRIDE Fighting Championships.

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