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Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris Prediction, Odds, and Pick – UFC Betting Preview, May 16

| May 13, 2020 3:35 am PDT
Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris Betting Preview

The final leg of the UFC’s Jacksonville extravaganza concludes with a heavyweight bout from the top drawer in Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris. The bout goes down this coming Saturday, May 16.

Overeem vs. Harris was initially slated for the UFC Washington DC card last December. However, Harris was forced to withdraw from that date due to the shocking murder of his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard.

The fight was rescheduled for April 11, but that event was scrapped due to health concerns. 

Overeem and Harris sit at eighth and ninth in the UFC’s official heavyweight rankings, respectively. The winner would move one step closer to cracking the top five, which would, in turn, improve their chances of a future shot at the title.

I expect this fight to be an action-packed scrap for as long as it lasts but will be explaining why time might be of the essence for Harris in this fight. Additionally, I’ll be looking at the odds and best Overeem vs. Harris bets before concluding with a breakdown of how I see this fight ending.

So, do you have an idea of who wins this fight? You can find my thoughts here in this Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris betting preview.

Overeem vs. Harris – Who Wins the Fight?

  • Walt Harris by KO/TKO

On account of the horrific loss of his stepdaughter last year, many MMA fans will be hoping that Harris can win this fight. But if he is to be victorious, he will need to go out there and get the job done.

I believe that Harris will do just that — he will win this fight. I have my ideas about how he will do it and how long it will take for him to put Overeem away, and I will be happy to expand on these a little later.

For now, let’s check out what the oddsmakers think about this scrap.

Latest Overeem vs. Harris Odds

Alistair Overeem to Win+135
Walt Harris to Win-165

All odds above come courtesy of Bovada. They are accurate at the time of writing but subject to change.

Overeem (+135) enters this contest as the plus money underdog, despite being ranked one place higher than Harris on the UFC’s heavyweight roster.

The Dutchman is coming off a frustrating knockout loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik and will be keen to make amends on Saturday night. With just four seconds on the clock against Rozesntruik, Overeem ate a huge punch and lost a fight that he was winning on the scorecards.

Harris (-165) will know just how difficult this fight could be for him, and it will be interesting to see how he copes with being a minus money favorite against the MMA stalwart.

Unbeaten since November 2017, Harris has won three of his four fights since then. He had initially earned a split decision win over Andrei Arlovski in December 2018, only for that result to be overturned to a no-contest following a positive test for the banned substance LGD-4033.

This is the 65th bout of Overeem’s lengthy career, and he will turn 40 just one day after the fight. He has certainly clocked more mileage than Harris but does have an advantage over him when it comes to experience and fighting better opponents. 

But Harris will be unconcerned with this. Instead, he will be keen to test Overeem’s shaky chin in order to see if he can add to his impressive record of 13 wins, which have all come by knockout.

Both men have first-round KO wins over Sergey Spivak and Aleksei Oleinik in their last two victories, which further makes this fight a tougher one to call.

Overeem vs. Harris Best Bets

I have picked out three bets for you to consider for the UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris headliner.

At the time of publishing, the prop bets for Overeem vs. Harris have not been released. So you might have to wait a few days to get your hands on these. Given how the UFC has managed to stage three fights over the course of a week, it’s hard to keep up…

Anyway, check these bets out below for an idea of where the majority of the money will go on this fight.

Harris to Win

The moneyline odds on Harris to beat Overeem are -165 at the time of writing. 

If you are backing Harris to win but are a little apprehensive about choosing the method of victory, this could be your bet. 

Harris to Win by KO/TKO

As I mentioned earlier, Harris has won all of his fights by way of KO/TKO. 

Other than choosing “The Big Ticket” to win outright, I think this will be the most popular bet among fans. Given Overeem’s questionable chin and the fact that 14 of his 18 losses as a professional have come via KO/TKO, this could be a great bet. 

Overeem to Win

If Overeem is going to win this fight, he will need to avoid Harris’ power all night.

In other words, he will have to fight in a very careful and measured manner from the outside. But Overeem is certainly capable of doing just that. Remember that he outsmarted a big hitter in Rozenstruik until he was clipped in the final seconds of their fight in December. 

Why Harris Wins This Fight

All right. Let’s get this out right now — you know I’m backing Walt Harris to beat Alistair Overeem, but you want to know why Harris beats Overeem, right?

As I see it, this will be a close fight that will come down to a few factors that will favor Harris. Firstly, Harris is a big hitter. He has power to burn, and his focus will be on getting in that cage and, for want of better phrasing, getting his paws on the Demolition Man from the first horn.

Harris has racked up an impressive 100% knockout percentage since turning pro. Despite what your gym instructor or high school football coach would say, you cannot get any better than that. So, Overeem has a big task on his hands and should be concerned. 

Secondly, Harris has not fought since July 2019. Alongside the heart-breaking circumstances of the murder of his stepdaughter, the global shutdown prevented him from making a comeback against Overeem in April.

I don’t believe cage rust will be a factor, given that he will have been training for this fight with perhaps the greatest intensity he has ever applied to a camp. An intensity that will be backed up by a genuine desire to win this fight at all costs.

Now, you could say that this could work against him. I get that. But a fired-up and fully-focused knockout artist has proven to be Overeem’s kryptonite on numerous occasions over the years, and May 16 will prove to be no different.

What About Overeem’s Submission Game?

I was recently talking to a couple of friends over Skype about this fight. Both are very knowledgable about MMA. One is a very close buddy of mine — who happens to be an active mixed martial artist — and the other a jiu-jitsu competitor. 

When the topic of Overeem’s ground game potentially posing a problem for Harris was raised, we talked for a while about the subject. We all agreed that Overeem’s wrestling is underrated and that he could potentially look to use this skill against Harris on the night.

When the attention moved to his submission game, I pointed out that his last win this way was all the way back in 2009 against the limited James Thompson in the Dream promotion. What I took away from that informal conversation was what I believed before I was planning to write this piece — Overeem won’t submit him.

Sure, Harris’ strength is on the feet. He was submitted by Fabricio Werdum in 2017 after being bossed around by the second-degree blackbelt (no shame there). But he was far too fast and powerful for the likes of Sergey Spivak and Aleksei Oleinik — two guys who are far more dangerous on the ground than Overeem — and will have the same attitude against the former heavyweight title challenger.

Harris Will Be Fired Up

There will be a very obvious emotional charge to Harris on the night, whether he likes it or not. He will be pumped up and ready to run through Overeem, and I expect him to charge forward and push the pace early. This will put the Dutchman on the back foot from the get-go, as he will find it difficult to contain this pressure.

Given Overeem’s three-inch reach advantage, Harris cannot afford to play into the more experienced man’s hands. Whatever your opinion of Overeem is, the guy is still a genuine top ten heavyweight in the UFC at almost 40 years old.

But all the punishment he has taken over the years is not something to be proud of. That KO to Rozenstruik will be on his mind, and I expect him to be cautious in the early exchanges. But if he is too keen to stay out of range, this could see Harris’ confidence levels growing.

He has the momentum heading into this fight and will be looking for something resembling catharsis when he straps up those gloves. With all of the above in mind, I expect a swift and brutal collision early on — one that will see Harris earn the biggest win of his career. 

Pick: Walt Harris by KO/TKO

Wrap Up

Many believe Overeem vs. Harris is a genuine contender for one of the best heavyweight fights we will see in 2020. But I believe Harris’ power will be the deciding factor in this bout and am leaning heavily towards an early stoppage for the favorite. 

If you’re looking to get your bets down, our recommended UFC betting sites are offering odds on the bout. You can also find prices for the other fights on the event scheduled for Saturday, May 16.

There will be plenty of UFC betting odds, previews, picks, and news heading your way this week, so make sure to check out the MMA section of our blog for more.

Good luck with your bets!

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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