Champ Alistair Overeem confirms May 15 Strikeforce fight with Brett Rogers

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Jride
3/1/10 7:27:29PM


Alistair Overeem (32-11 MMA, 2-0 SF) wants American fans to get ready. There are no more obstacles in the way of his American MMA career; Strikeforce is the priority for 2010.

In an exclusive interview with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today, the Strikeforce heavyweight champion said he is likely to meet Brett Rogers (10-1 MMA, 2-1 SF) in a non-title fight on an as-yet-unannounced card set for May 15 in St. Louis, Mo.

Although Strikeforce has not placed an event permit request to the Missouri State Athletic Commission, all signs point to a second trip to the 22,000-seat Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

The promotion made its first visit there this past June for "Strikeforce: Shields vs. Lawler."

Overeem announced the Rogers fight earlier today on his Twitter account but clarified that the matchup is not confirmed. He also added that a rumored appearance at DREAM.13 against Neil Grove or Josh Barnett is also unconfirmed.

"I'll know this week," he said.

Keeping up with the Dutch fighter's schedule has proven a difficult task for American fans. Overeem was slated to face Rogers at "Strikeforce: Shields vs. Lawler" in 2009 before he injured his hand in an Amsterdam nightclub brawl and suffered severe complications, which he said shelved him for a follow-up appearance two months later against Fabricio Werdum at "Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg."

Just 11 days after the proposed Werdum fight, Overeem entered the 2009 K-1 Grand Prix and made two appearances for the kickboxing promotion before he lost to Badr Hari in the tournament's semifinals. Along the way, he picked up two MMA wins (via submission over Tony Sylvester and James Thompson) before he defeated Kazuyuki Fujita in his most recent appearance at the Dec. 31 "Dynamite!! 2009" event in Japan.

Overeem has not defended his title since November 2007, when he won the vacant belt by defeating Paul Buentello at "Strikeforce: Four Men Enter, One Man Survives."

Overeem's manager, Bas Boon, said his fighter made far more money competing for K-1 and assured American fans he will return in April or May. Boon, though, would not confirm the Rogers bout.

Meanwhile, Overeem said he hopes to fight in the 2010 K-1 Grand Prix but that Strikeforce obligations come first.

"If I can do K-1 after these fights or in between, that's OK, but if not, then I will go for Strikeforce," he said. "It's been too long. Last year was a good year in K-1, but this year, I want to fight in MMA."

The chance of a long-rumored fight with Fedor Emelianenko appears to be a longshot. Emelianenko will not appear on Strikeforce's second CBS-televised event, which is set for April 17 in Nashville, Tenn., and he is currently in a contract dispute with the San Jose, Calif.-based promotion. He is rumored to be fighting on the May 15 card against an unnamed opponent.

While Overeem counts the top-ranked Russian among his targets stateside, there is too much red tape between them.

"Fedor doesn't want to fight," Overeem said. "His manager doesn't want to fight. That's basically the message I'm getting out of all of this. The management said, 'Yeah, we want to fight Alistair, but first, Alistair must fight somebody else.' Basically, you need two parties to agree on a fight. Otherwise it's not going to happen.

"And now, I don't know what is going to happen because I think [Fedor] might want to leave Strikeforce. I'm not really occupied with the situation; I'm just focused on myself and my training."

Overeem was more than happy, though, to take on Rogers, who has called him out on several occasions and demanded he defend his title or give up the belt.

"He's an excellent opponent," Overeem said. "I'm looking forward to [smacking] his face and his loud mouth. I'm really happy that Strikeforce came with this fight so now we can settle things once and for all."

Rogers manager, Mike Reilly, declined to comment on a potential fight between Rogers and Overeem.

"I don't think it's going to be for the title because [Brett] lost to Fedor," Overeem said. "He’s coming off a loss, so I don't think they're going to put it for the title, but it's up to the promotion."

Rogers fights for the first time since his November loss to Emelianenko at Strikeforce's first CBS-televised event. The TKO defeat snapped his 10-fight win streak (all of the wins came via stoppage due to strikes), which included Strikeforce victories over Abongo Humphrey and Andrei Arlovski.

After a long absence, Overeem intends to prove his critics wrong and make his mark once again in the U.S.

"If people take the time to look what the situation is, there's no secrets; there's no strange stuff going on," he said. "I can look you in the face and answer your questions. Then they'll see that things turn out the way they turn out.

"There are no obstacles for me."

Link
Jackelope
3/1/10 7:39:39PM
On the surface this spells the complete and utter destructive end of the Brett Rogers hype train. However, that dude has surprised me in the past and he seems to be heavy handed as hell. So let's hope for an epic slugfest!

(P.S.- Overeem should absolutely destroy Brett Rogers)
lohmann
3/1/10 7:44:15PM

"If I can do K-1 after these fights or in between, that's OK, but if not, then I will go for Strikeforce," he said. "It's been too long. Last year was a good year in K-1, but this year, I want to fight in MMA."


Glad to see Overeem live up to the promise that he would focus on MMA in 2010. Makes me worry that his plans will make the promise short-lived though.

If this happens, I will be geniunely surprised. I don't mind the non-title aspect of this bout: it will introduce Overeem to an audience that Strikeforce did not have the last time he fought for them and, should Overeem put on a spectacular performance against a fighter that will stand and strike with him, it will make a future title fight with Fedor much more marketable.

The Ubereem cometh!



Jride
3/1/10 7:47:51PM
UFC is making an announcement soon. And with all these recent announcements with Strikeforce and such.

Is it a possibility that M1 & UFC have come to terms?
RhythmAndStyle
3/1/10 7:52:29PM
finally Ubereem has come back..time to test clean and shut everybody up with the juice talk..too bad it's not a title fight..but Ubereem in the states is better than nothing..time for Alistair's next transformation...
sbulldavid
3/1/10 8:23:42PM
Rogers is not about hype, he's a solid heavyweight, I would put him ahead of Sylvia and Arlovski and just behind Overeem. I will be watching this fight, Rogers is fun to watch.
AchillesHeel
3/1/10 8:30:49PM

Posted by Jride

[...]the Strikeforce heavyweight champion said he is likely to meet Brett Rogers (10-1 MMA, 2-1 SF) in a non-title fight on an as-yet-unannounced card set for May 15 in St. Louis, Mo.




I hate that.

I mean, I really, really hate that.

If you beat the champ in his weight class, that means you're the champ. Full stop. I'll actually feel bad for Rogers if he wins.
xdanish020
3/1/10 8:32:25PM
I think this fight ends in the 1st whether it's an Overeem KO/TKO or sub or Rogers KO/TKO, it's gonna happen.
CwB
3/1/10 8:36:08PM
Wow, this fight makes so much sense...

The return of the SF HW champ to fight a Non-Title fight against a guy who just lost to the number 1 contender... What happens if AO loses to Brett, Do you strip him of the belt, cause how in the hell do you market a title fight when the champ is coming off of a loss.

Hey StrikeForce, skip the BS and have Fedor vs AO in May, and have Brett vs Fabricio for #1 contender.

But back to the fight at hand, I actually like Brett's odds of winning this fight. Brett has the power to wreck AO (who has more technical striking) and Brett's ground game surprised me against Fedor, and IMO AO's ground game is greatly overrated. (all his sub wins, over the past three years, are against guys with Zero ground game and he used too struggle a lot with competent grapplers [ Rua, Nog, Arona, Werdum])

I hope Rodgers is a big underdog, cause if he is I will be putting some real money on him...
emfleek
3/1/10 9:12:43PM

Posted by Jride

UFC is making an announcement soon.


Source?
BustedKnuckle
3/1/10 10:08:47PM
Along with other i cant imagine the Alistair comes into the SF cage to NOT!!!!??? defend his title. That is absolutly ludacris!! Is SF that swayed by M-1 Global. I dont know what to say! This guy has the potential to derail the Fedor Freighttrain! And is scares the hell out of Vadim Finkelstien!!!!!!!! AO needs to test neg and destroy a top contender in the US for Fedor to fight him.......WellF@#! Fedor!!!!! All of the BS is BS!!!!!!!!!!! Fedor needs to fight a toop guy soon! or the "casual audience" who watches "ULTIMATE FGHTING" will lose interest in the best fighter ever!!!banghead:
telnights
3/1/10 11:05:36PM

Posted by sbulldavid

Rogers is not about hype, he's a solid heavyweight, I would put him ahead of Sylvia and Arlovski and just behind Overeem. I will be watching this fight, Rogers is fun to watch.



Maybe in your world but who has he beat other than AA?
meier
3/1/10 11:23:57PM
Rogers via knee bar 2nd round
prozacnation1978
3/1/10 11:30:28PM
sad to see for one he isn't defending his title

two strikforce has yet to strip the title away
and three he is dodgeing a fight with fedor

good fight none the least though
jae_1833
3/1/10 11:36:54PM
So there is the possibliity that I can finally see Fedor vs Overeem, after that I think the only fight I will ever want to see again is Fedor vs Barnett. If I saw both of those fights I could die a happy man!!!
MaxOne
3/1/10 11:53:11PM
match up makes no sense to me but i still can't wait to see it. I will put money on Rogers if he's a big enough underdog. I don't get the non title fight thing and how it's rogers that he's fighting....just strange.

Rogers coming off a loss gets a non title against the champ ????

no matter what his belt should be on the line.

Aether
3/2/10 12:11:48AM

Posted by Jride

UFC is making an announcement soon. And with all these recent announcements with Strikeforce and such.

Is it a possibility that M1 & UFC have come to terms?



no.
bjj1605
3/2/10 12:14:06AM

Posted by prozacnation1978

sad to see for one he isn't defending his title

two strikforce has yet to strip the title away
and three he is dodgeing a fight with fedor

good fight none the least though



Ok, first of all, it's Fedor's management that is preventing this fight from happening. just like they've prevented fedor vs randy and Fedor in the UFC. I have absolutely no use for those bone heads. I think as punishment they should have to fight Fedor.

But as far as the Overeem stuff goes, it's ridiculous to have the champ involved in a non title fight unless it's in a different weight class. This screams japanese freak show, and it's going to destroy whatever credibility Strikeforce had as a UFC competitor (that is whatever is left after the Herschel Walker fiasco).

I really got behind these guys at first, they put on some great shows and seemed to be doing things the right way. But now I'm starting to think they will never move beyond fringe org./freakshow. They're handling of Fedor and Mousasi and Overeem and Walker has convinced me they're doomed to fail.
grappler0000
3/2/10 12:16:23AM
I'm assuming AO isn't facing Fedor because of the whole testing clean first that we saw previously. They obviously don't want to give Brett a title fight considering he already lost to Fedor...so if he was to win the title, the next fight would not be very marketable. Fedor vs Alistair is the fight they want next, so this is what they need to do to ensure it happens. With that said, I don't like it. It's a good short term business decision, but paints the wrong picture for the fans, as well as the other fighters.
sbulldavid
3/2/10 2:06:05AM

Posted by telnights


Posted by sbulldavid

Rogers is not about hype, he's a solid heavyweight, I would put him ahead of Sylvia and Arlovski and just behind Overeem. I will be watching this fight, Rogers is fun to watch.



Maybe in your world but who has he beat other than AA? [/QUOTE

Arlovski and Sylvia aren't exactly top fighters any more and who exactly has Overeem beat this isn't K-1, Rogers is going to rush him and negate most of his offense, and I did rate Overeem slightly ahead of Rogers. Maybe in your world is Overeem something special.
SamPan
3/2/10 2:13:21AM

Posted by Jackelope

On the surface this spells the complete and utter destructive end of the Brett Rogers hype train. However, that dude has surprised me in the past and he seems to be heavy handed as hell. So let's hope for an epic slugfest!

(P.S.- Overeem should absolutely destroy Brett Rogers)



I feel exactly the opposite. I think Overeem will be lucky if he gets out of the second round.
lohmann
3/2/10 2:37:45AM

Posted by sbulldavid


Posted by telnights


Posted by sbulldavid

Rogers is not about hype, he's a solid heavyweight, I would put him ahead of Sylvia and Arlovski and just behind Overeem. I will be watching this fight, Rogers is fun to watch.



Maybe in your world but who has he beat other than AA?



Arlovski and Sylvia aren't exactly top fighters any more and who exactly has Overeem beat this isn't K-1, Rogers is going to rush him and negate most of his offense, and I did rate Overeem slightly ahead of Rogers. Maybe in your world is Overeem something special.



I think it speaks volumes about the lack of depth at heavyweight that Brett Rogers is a top ten heavyweight (in addition to the idea that a 4-1 Brock Lesnar is a top three heavyweight and that Shane Carwin, whose only victory of note is a less-than-impressive knockout, is thrown into most top tens too). A win over Arlovski when Rogers defeated Arlovski is enough to consider Rogers, in my opinion, top ten material.

Other than that, Overeem's going to be a heavy favorite in this fight. If Rogers "rushes" Overeem, he better be ready to eat some ugly knees.
CwB
3/2/10 5:31:26AM

Posted by sbulldavid


Posted by telnights


Posted by sbulldavid

Rogers is not about hype, he's a solid heavyweight, I would put him ahead of Sylvia and Arlovski and just behind Overeem. I will be watching this fight, Rogers is fun to watch.



Maybe in your world but who has he beat other than AA? [/QUOTE

Arlovski and Sylvia aren't exactly top fighters any more and who exactly has Overeem beat this isn't K-1, Rogers is going to rush him and negate most of his offense, and I did rate Overeem slightly ahead of Rogers. Maybe in your world is Overeem something special.



Exactly... Brett is still unknown. His ground game looked decent against Fedor and he has the power to KO anyone in the HW div.

Overeem, on the other hand, hasnt beaten a top ten (in MMA) since fighting in Pride...

Im not saying Brett is better then AO, But Brett actually holds a win over a top HW...
dmfp
3/2/10 6:01:59AM

Posted by Jride

UFC is making an announcement soon. And with all these recent announcements with Strikeforce and such.

Is it a possibility that M1 & UFC have come to terms?



It smells like it.
BeeR
3/2/10 6:36:44AM

Posted by Jride

UFC is making an announcement soon. And with all these recent announcements with Strikeforce and such.

Is it a possibility that M1 & UFC have come to terms?




NO.



.....Unless Zuffa bought M1 haha
Jackelope
3/2/10 7:37:57AM

Posted by SamPan


Posted by Jackelope

On the surface this spells the complete and utter destructive end of the Brett Rogers hype train. However, that dude has surprised me in the past and he seems to be heavy handed as hell. So let's hope for an epic slugfest!

(P.S.- Overeem should absolutely destroy Brett Rogers)



I feel exactly the opposite. I think Overeem will be lucky if he gets out of the second round.



We'll see

By all means, though.. as someone who has ran through K-1 competition the past year Alistair IMO should be able to destroy the much less refined striker in Brett Rogers. I like Brett Rogers a lot, but he's going up against a veteran with the much better striking credentials. Didn't work out too well for AA, but Alistair isn't really the type to get bullied around or to be gun shy so we'll see.

As i stated in the original post, though- anything can happen in MMA especially when you've got heavy hands in the mix.
finnish_line
3/2/10 8:54:12AM

I hope all of Strikeforce's champions compete in non-title fights this year.

They're just so interesting!
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