After finishing his opponent via second-round TKO, UFC heavyweight contender Alistair Overeem embraced his opponent Walt Harris at UFC Florida.
Harris came into the fight under difficult circumstances. Last October, Harris’ daughter Aniah Blanchard was kidnapped and murdered in his native Alabama. Her death led to him understandably withdrawing from his previously-scheduled bout against Overeem at UFC Washington, D.C.
The pair were later re-booked to headline UFC Portland but after that card was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the fight took place at UFC Florida. After a strong opening round where Harris knocked Overeem down and nearly finished him with ground and pound, Overeem took over big time in the second, taking Harris down to the ground, flattening him out on the mat, and then finishing him via TKO.
Immediately after the referee stepped in and stopped the fight, Overeem was quick to embrace his fallen opponent and console him. Check out the video below (via ESPN’s Twitter).
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 17, 2020
Tremendous display of respect from @Alistairovereem, embracing @thebigticket205 after the #UFCFL main event
It’s a classy display of respect from Overeem to his fallen foe. As much as this sport is about hurting your opponents so bad they cannot continue in a fight, there is undoubtedly a brotherhood (and sisterhood) among the athletes that only MMA fighters can know. Although it was Overeem’s job to go in there and beat Harris up, he knew what Harris was going through and tried his best to make him feel better.
For Overeem, the win over Harris helps him bounce back from a last-second KO loss to Jarizinho Rozenstruik in his last fight. Don’t look now but Overeem has now won three of his last four fights and is still among the elite in the UFC heavyweight division. Another win or two and Overeem could perhaps get another shot at the heavyweight belt.
Where do you rank Alistair Overeem among the greatest heavyweights in MMA history?