It didn’t take long for Alistair Overeem to quiet his critics. Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem knocked out Brett Rogers in less than 4:00 in a lopsided fight which showcased a guy who has been an afterthought in the world of MMA. Could it be Alistair Overeem and not Fedor Emelianenko who is the best heavyweight in MMA?
MMA fans debate almost daily on message boards and forums about who the best MMA heavyweight in the world is. It generally comes down to Brock Lesnar vs. Fedor Emelianenko. Most casual MMA fans have never even heard of Alistair Overeem. For the MMA fans who know him, he has generally been regarded as a paper champion for Strikeforce. That has all changed after a showcase performance that rightfully puts Alistair Overeem in the mix of elite MMA fighters in the heavyweight division.
Before anyone gets too excited, let’s look at the big picture when it comes to Alistair Overeem vs. Brett Rogers. The fight was a joke. How a fighter could get knocked out on national television and return in his next fight as a challenger for the Strikeforce heavyweight champion is logic that I just don’t understand. As pointed out on the Showtime broadcast, Overeem has more knockouts than Brett Rogers has fights. This is a fight that never should have happened, and it wouldn’t have if things went as planned for Strikeforce.
[adinserter block=”1″]The idea behind winning the Fedor Emelianenko sweepstakes was for Strikeforce to showcase Fedor in one fight and than cash in on a big match featuring Fedor Emelianenko challenging for the Strikeforce heavyweight championship. Unfortunately those “crazy Russians” as Dana White lovingly refers to Fedor’s management team had other plans. Fedor Emelianenko essentially refused to fight Alistair Overeem citing co-promotional issues and thus the fight never took place. Brett Rogers was the B-plan, and thankfully things worked out in everyone’s favor as the win puts Alistair Overeem vs. Fedor Emelianenko back in play.
While Brett Rogers isn’t necessarily an impressive opponent, Alistair Overeem is definitely not a joke. Even with the inexperience, this was the same Brett Rogers who held his own with the great Fedor Emelianenko for one round and was seconds from beating him. Unlike Fedor, Overeem was never in a second of trouble and just dominated Rogers. The power and speed from Overeem was as impressive as it gets when you talk about MMA heavyweight fighters.
I crowned Fedor Emelianenko Fighter of the Decade here on CamelClutchBlog.com back in December. However, Fedor Emelianenko has really come up short in his post-Pride FC career. Fedor turned down a reported $30 million deal which would have matched him with against the best fighters in MMA in the UFC to fight in Strikeforce, thus opting to fight Brett Rogers over Brock Lesnar. On top of that, he turned down the Alistair Overeem fight in essence to fight Fabricio Werdum. One can speculate but I think a fair question to ask is whether there really was some kind of contractual issue or if M-1 Global knew that by stalling the Overeem fight that they would wind up with Werdum? Since leaving Pride FC Fedor has fought Tim Sylvia, Andrei Arlovski, and Brett Rogers. In all fairness the Josh Barnett fight would have been a tough fight, but either way this isn’t a guy that looks like he is ready to fight the best MMA competition in the world.
[adinserter block=”2″]Alistair Overeem hasn’t fought in Strikeforce in two years but he has kept very busy. He has fought seven times in the last two years. Even more impressive is that all of the seven fights didn’t go past one round. He did have a no-contest against Mirko Cro Cop but Overeem has either knocked out or submitted his last eight of nine opponents. Granted a lot of Overeem’s opponents weren’t world beaters, but that is still very impressive if you ask me.
Fedor Emelianenko needs to fight Alistair Overeem. Fedor is scheduled to fight in June, so a Fedor Emelianenko vs. Alistair Overeem fight wouldn’t happen until late August at the earliest. This also begs to question where the UFC fits into this equation. Alistair Overeem has not been shy about his interest in the UFC and has met with Dana White in the past. If Overeem can beat Fedor Emelianenko, he would be a natural opponent for Brock Lesnar and other UFC heavyweights. It would be interesting to see if Dana White shifts his obsession from Fedor Emelianenko to Alistair Overeem in the future. Something tells me that Alistair Overeem isn’t turning down $30 million to fight in the UFC.
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