NEWARK, N.J. -- 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 center 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.com he had no plans to retire.
Overeem rebounded from back-to-back losses to Antonio Silva and Travis Browne.