- UFC 169
Overeem mauls Mir for decision winFebruary 2, 2014 « Aldo dominates Lamas, keeps belt at 145 | Chartbeat test »
Alistair Overeem didn't let another fast start go to waste.
Overeem (37-13) recorded his first win since December 2011, defeating Frank Mir via unanimous decision during the UFC 169 main card at Prudential Center.
The former Strikeforce heavyweight champion has a reputation for striking early, which he lived up to by dropping Mir in the opening round. Unfortunately he has a reputation of fading quickly, too - but that wasn't the case on Saturday.
Mir (16-9) looked determined not to back up against a dangerous opponent. He took the centre of the cage at the start of each round and seemed mindful of circling off the fence.
A left hook midway through the first round dropped Mir, and Overeem moved in for the finish with elbows. Mir eventually survived and wall-walked to his feet.
With things looking bleak, Mir responded with a double-leg takedown in the next round and looked for a guillotine as Overeem scrambled back up. Overeem escaped, however, and ended up back in top position.
Mir had little to offer in the third, as he attempted to pull guard and was forced to stand several times by referee Dan Miragliotta. His face was bloodied, mostly from Overeem elbows, and he ate a hard right as he stole a look at the clock.
"I proved to everybody I'm back tonight," Overeem said. "Frank is a very experienced fighter, his game plan was to take me down, but I'm a well-rounded fighter, too, so I dominated him. This victory has motivated me a lot to go back to the gym and get ready for fighting again."
Mir, the former UFC heavyweight champ, has now lost four consecutive fights, dating back to May 2012. Prior to the fight, the 34-year-old told ESPN he had no plans to retire.
Overeem rebounded from back-to-back losses to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne.
Earlier on, Ali Bagautinov (13-2) outmaneuvered John Lineker in every aspect of their flyweight fight, earning a unanimous decision and, perhaps, a shot at champion Demetrious Johnson in the process.
"I'm extremely happy with this victory," Bagautinov said. "I was sticking to the plan during the fight, thinking of knocking him out. I could not finish him. However, he put me in trouble, but I got a great victory.
"My goal is fight for the belt really soon."
Abel Trujillo (12-5) scored a comeback knockout over Jamie Varner in the second round of their lightweight fight. Badly hurt and nearly out on his feet, Trujillo landed a right haymaker that knocked Varner out cold at the 2:32 mark.
"It was an exciting fight with two guys fighting toe-to-toe," Trujillo said. "I always trust my power; I always knew I could knock him out.
"After this win, I'm looking forward to fighting the toughest guys in my division; the ones that could get me close to the title shot such as 'Cowboy' Donald Cerrone or Nate Diaz. I'm ready to get the gold."
UFC lightweight Alan Patrick remains undefeated following a decision win over John Makdessi. Patrick (12-0) posted his second win in the Octagon, this time by judges' scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 over Makdessi. The Brazilian scored a TKO victory in his UFC debut in October over Garrett Whiteley.
"I faced a great opponent who tried to tie me up all the time," Patrick said. "My plan was to keep fighting him - and I did it.
"Makdessi was desperate after the first round, so that's the reason I could take him down every time when I wanted."
In a grueling flyweight bout, Chris Cariaso managed to edge UFC newcomer Danny Martinez via unanimous decision. Cariaso (16-5) earned his second consecutive win with unanimous 29-28 scores, although the New Jersey crowd booed throughout.
The lack of action even prompted Martinez (16-5) to apologise to reporters as he walked past the press row to the locker room.
"I felt great about this fight," Cariaso said. "My hands were really going and my jab was really working - just a little frustrated because he was really working my legs.
"I wanted to use my wrestling defence to get out the cage a little bit more but everything went according to plan."
This article originally appeared on ESPN.com