Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem is scheduled to fight a K-1 kickboxing match against Dzevad Poturak on April 3, just six weeks before he is supposed to defend his title against Brett Rogers at the May 15 Strikeforce show.
The scheduling calls into question whether Overeem, who hasn't defended the Strikeforce belt since he won it on November 16, 2007, will really be ready to go against Rogers.
Overeem will be favored to beat Poturak, a Bosnian who's on a two-fight losing streak. But it's certainly possible that Poturak could knock Overeem out, or that Overeem could suffer an injury in victory, and that Overeem won't be healthy enough to fight Rogers.
It's also possible that Overeem will back out of the fight with Rogers for scheduling reasons: Overeem has typically not needed much time off between fights, but Rogers will give him a tough test, and Overeem might decide that he wants a longer training camp to get ready for his heavyweight title defense.
And, finally, although Overeem has insisted that he's going to prioritize MMA over kickboxing in 2010, it's possible that Overeem will put on a spectacular show in beating Poturak, and that K-1 will pay him enough money to continue focusing on kickboxing and turn his back on Strikeforce.
The bottom line, then, is that the May 15 Overeem vs. Rogers fight should be considered tentative at best until after April 3.
Note: The April 3 K-1 show will be a very good one. In addition to Overeem vs. Poturak, the fights on the card include Semmy Schilt vs. Errol Zimmerman, Badr Hari vs. Alexey Ignashov, Jerome Le Banner vs. Ruslan Karaev and Kyotaro vs. Peter Aerts. Link